Wynne Godley

Daniel Akst | May 14, 2010

Distinguished Scholar Wynne Godley, longtime head of the Levy Institute’s Macro-Modeling Team, died on May 13. He was 83.

At the time of his death, Godley was professor emeritus of applied economics at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of King’s College. He was formerly a senior visiting research fellow at the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance, and a member of the British Treasury’s Panel of Independent Forecasters—the so-called “Six Wise Men.” Much of his work focused on the strategic prospects for the US, UK, and world economies, and the use of accounting macroeconomic models to reveal structural imbalances. He published extensively. His most recent book, Monetary Economics: An Integrated Approach to Credit, Money, Income, Production, and Wealth (2007; with Marc Lavoie), is an elaboration of his classic textbook Macroeconomics, written in 1983 with Francis Cripps.

He is survived by his wife, the former Kathleen “Kitty” Garman, and their daughter.

An extensive obituary appeared in the Times of London on May 17. “Wynne Godley,” it said, “was the most insightful macroeconomic forecaster of his generation.”

Another extensive appreciation appeared later, this one in the Guardian.

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9 Responses to “Wynne Godley”

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  1. Comment by Ramanan — May 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm   Reply

    This is sad. A big loss to humankind. I wish I knew him.

    I work at a bank in India and I am supposed to go London next month on official work and hoped I could ask him for an autograph on his book with Marc Lavoie.

    I have just had one email exchange with him – on the new year’s day this year, to let him know that it was a nice day to celebrate good things in life and that I had been reading his work everyday since I picked up his work last year and that it is as intellectual as anything I have known. I also said “May the new generation of students this decade pick up your work and help to improve the living standards in the world and bring great sociological benefits.” He wrote back saying “infinite thanks for your very kind words” and that he is writing something up about the US economy. I am glad I had a brief exchange with a great man I deeply admire but at the same time regret not being able to meet him in person and ask him many questions about how the economy works. I am sure, he would have answered them with “loving detail” borrowing the phrase from Lance Taylor’s article appreciating his work.

    May his soul rest in peace.

  2. Comment by Eve Taylor — May 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm   Reply

    Dad was so pleased to receive your message on new years day, thank you for your very kind words. I wish he was here to autograph your book. He died very peacefully. With best regards,

    Eve Taylor (Wynne’s daughter)

    • Comment by Martin Fetherston — May 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm   Reply

      Dear Eve,

      I was so sorry to hear the news about Wynne. He was my first boss, in the DAE from 1973-80, and I learned a huge amount from him about how to do economics in the real world. My sons (now in their 20s) remember him as a whiz at playing battleships when he visited us in the US about 15 years ago!

      Martin Fetherston

  3. Comment by Ramanan — May 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm   Reply

    Thanks Eve for a touching reply.

  4. Comment by Panayotis — May 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm   Reply

    I am very sad to hear that another great economist passed away. His memory lives in his important work.

  5. Comment by Vladimir Markhonko — May 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm   Reply

    In early 2000’s professor Godley written to me inquiring about how well international trade is reflected in the official international trade statistics compiled and disseminated by the United Nations Statistics Division, as he was concerned about quality of data which was used by his team as an input in their research. We had some correspondence to this effect which showed how much he cared about what he and his team were doing and how deeply he believed that an honest researcher must do the best he can to contribute to a better understanding of what is going on around us and, hopefully, to change the life for the better.

    It is very sad news, indeed. Let his exemplary effort be our guide.

    Vladimir Markhonko, Chief of Trade Statistics Branch, the United Nations Statistics Division

  6. Comment by Bink — July 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm   Reply

    Wynne: Your sector balance approach finally did for me what our public school and my parents could not – it gave me some common sense and purpose. Thank You Sir!!!!!!

  7. Comment by Robert gibbins — September 11, 2010 at 11:03 pm   Reply

    Wynne Godley was the most original economic thinker I have ever met.
    Robert Gibbins, Founder, Autonomy Capital

  8. Comment by Hanne Vesterhaab — September 18, 2015 at 6:17 pm   Reply

    Dear Eve Taylor
    I had the pleasure of meeting your parents in Denmark as well as in England. My husband Tony Kristensen and I both had a dream of of going to to England and meet them again – but time slipped by as it does. I want you to know that me and my family has the best, loving, kind – well all positive memories of your parents. Lots of love. Hope you have the life you wanted. Love Hanne & Tony
    vesterhaab@gmail.com

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