Former NBER President Dies in Cambridge

John R. Meyer, who served as President of the NBER from 1967 to 1977, died in Cambridge on October 20, 2009. Meyer, who was widely recognized for his pioneering contributions in transportation and urban economics, had retired as the James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1999.

Meyer was a tenured professor in Harvard’s economics department from 1955 to 1968. After he became President of the NBER, then headquartered in New York City, he moved closer to its offices and began teaching in Yale University’s economics department where he remained until 1973. He then returned to Cambridge and taught at the Harvard Business School from 1973 to 1983, at which time he joined the faculty of the Kennedy School of Government.

In addition to his research, teaching, and NBER roles, Meyer also served as vice chairman and board member of Union Pacific Railroad, and as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Transportation. At the time of his death, he was completing a manuscript on the forces that shaped the regulation of the American railroad industry in the twentieth century.

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