November 25, 2019

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I write to share with you the sad news that Professor Emeritus Perry Shapiro passed away on Sunday, September 8, after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma. He was surrounded by his family at the time of his death.

Professor Shapiro was a pillar of our Department of Economics from 1969 until his retirement in 2009. He served for six years as department chair from 1987-93, and is remembered for his eminent scholarship, dedicated student advising, and wonderful collegiality. Beyond the department, he served on 26 campuswide committees, and as faculty director of the University of California Education Abroad Program office in Melbourne, Australia.

With a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley, Perry in 1966 accepted a two-year postdoctoral position at Washington University in St. Louis to study the relatively new discipline of urban economics. In 1968, he left the United States to teach at the London School of Economics before coming to UC Santa Barbara.

Professor Shapiro spent 1990-91 at the Australian National University on a Fulbright scholarship, and again returned to ANU from 1994-96. He adopted a lasting interest in the economics and politics of Australia, and produced a series of articles on Australian public finance issues and fiscal federalism. In 1995, he received an award from the Australian Economic Society for “Best published paper in Australia.”

Professor Shapiro was an economist of wide interest and skill. Throughout his career, he published dozens of articles on taxation, public expenditures and externalities, urban and regional economics, and economic geography, among other topics. He also published a series of articles over the last 35 years on his long-term interest of the law and economics of eminent domain and the holdout, the most recent of which was published this year in the Journal of Public Economics.

Perry was known among his colleagues for his generosity, good sense, and cheerful spirit. We extend our condolences to his wife, Jody, and to his family and many friends. A funeral was held September 10 at Temple Beth Torah in Ventura. Our campus flag was lowered in his honor on September 18.


Henry T. Yang