Harris Schlesinger

Link to Harris Schlesinger’s University of Alabama homepage

I am sad at the passing of Harris Schlesinger, a leading light in the economics of risk that I have done some work in. Here are passages from two emails I received about his life, work and untimely death:

With great sadness the board of EGRIE [European Group of Risk and Insurance Economists] learned of the death of Harris Schlesinger on September 29 after a long illness.  His intellectual contributions to the field of risk and insurance economics were substantial.  A friend of many; his dedication, enthusiasm, humor and kindness will be greatly missed.  His loss will be deeply felt, particularly at our annual meeting that he enjoyed so much.

– Mark Browne, Christophe Courbage, Alexander Mürmann, Andreas Richter, Hato Schmeiser, and Nicolas Treich

We have just heard that Harris Schlesinger passed away this week. He was only 63, and had visited CESifo as a guest scholar as recently as last November. To say that the news was a shock is a huge understatement.

Harris was a Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Alabama, as well as the holder of the Frank Park Samford Chair of Insurance. He was also an Adjunct Professor of Finance at the University of Konstanz, a Research Fellow at the Center of Finance and Econometrics, and a CESifo Research Network Fellow. He had affiliations as a Research Associate with the Munich Risk & Insurance Center and with the Institute for Insurance Economics at the University of St. Gallen.

With a BA and MA from SUNY College at Potsdam, New York, and an MS and PhD from the University of Illinois, he was past president of both the American Risk and Insurance Association and the European Group of Risk and Insurance Economists. He was the founding editor of the Geneva Papers in Risk and Insurance Theory and an associate editor for five academic journals. He published articles in more than two dozen journals, including the American Economic Review,Journal of Finance, Econometrica, Quarterly Journal of Economics and Journal of Political Economy.

But that was only the professional side. As a person he was endowed with a terrific sense of humour, generosity and a warm personality that will be sorely missed.

– Hans-Werner Sinn