Gerald W. Scully, a first-rate economist, has died of pancreatic cancer. Jerry authored the article on sports in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.
Although I chose him as the author and edited his piece, I never met Jerry. But economist John Goodman, the head of the National Center for Policy Analysis, knew him well and has a short write-up at his blog.
Two highlights from Goodman's blog:
Jerry was one of the most prolific, innovative and imaginative economists of our age. One of the most fundamental building blocks of economics is the idea of "marginal product." Jerry was the first economist to ever measure one. He did it in, of all places, baseball.
He pioneered sports economics and went on to make many contributions in other fields. One of his most important contributions was the "Scully Curve." Jerry showed that the size of government can contribute to economic growth in a nation's early stages, but at some point, the size of government becomes a burden - reducing the rate of growth and causing national income to be lower than it otherwise would be.