David R. Henderson  

George Stigler's Tenure Call

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From the Holocaust Museum's "S... Self-Recommending Books, Not Y...

A friend of mine who used to be a colleague at the Naval Postgraduate School, Patrick J. Parker, was a young student taking his first economics courses at Columbia University in the late 1940s. He was sitting in George Stigler's office one day when the phone rang. Here's what he heard on Stigler's end:
Hullo. [If you ever knew Stigler, you'll knew why I used a "u" rather than an "e." That's how he spoke.]
Yes?
Yes.
Oh, thank you very much.

Then Stigler hung up and, beaming, turned to Pat Parker and said, "I've just received tenure. I never have to work again."


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CATEGORIES: Labor Market



COMMENTS (3 to date)
Strunk Jr writes:

[Comment removed pending confirmation of email address. Email the webmaster@econlib.org to request restoring this comment. A valid email address is required to post comments on EconLog and EconTalk.--Econlib Ed.]

david writes:

Aww, I thought Strunk's comment was witty. Bonus points if you get the name.

Stigler jumped to Chicago later, and he did his most famous work after 1950, so clearly he didn't think all that much of job security...

[Strunk's one-liner was a bit witty, and as the notice above says, it will be restored as soon as he verifies his email address.--Econlib Ed.]

vidyohs writes:

I'll just speak the obvious. It is obvious to me that Stigler's comment, though taken literally may well be true, was spoken in jest.

But, in our highly politicized world today, any spoken and recorded word can be used later by those who would denigrate us, or our position, to smear and marginalize.

Unfortunately, with the computerized world we have today, nothing will escape notice and use, as many a politician has discovered to his/her regret.

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