Erkin Bairam: 1958-2001 His contribution to economics
Knowles, Stephen; McCombie, John S L
With Erkin Bairam’s untimely death on 21 May 2001 at the age of 43, New Zealand lost one its most distinguished and prolific applied economists. Born in Nicosia, Cyprus, most of Bairam’s working life was spent in the Department of Economics at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. At the age of 33, he became one of the youngest full professors to be appointed in New Zealand, and, by the time of his death, had published over 60 articles and 4 books. Bairam had two main research interests: namely, the theoretical specification and estimation of aggregate production functions and the testing of Thirlwall’s law of economic growth. But his interests went wider than this. He was a gifted applied econometrician and made contributions to econometric theory and also published in the areas of inflation and labour economics. Although he would have been the first to admit that he was not a natural sportsman, he developed an interest in the economics of sport, especially cricket and published some innovative papers in this area. He also undertook some notable work in calculating the research rankings of economics departments (always a contentious issue), with an article being published in the prestigious Journal of Economic Literature (Bairam, 1994a). Bairam’s undergraduate training took place at the University of Essex, where he gained a BA (Hons) in Economics in 1980. He left Essex for Hull, where he was awarded an MA in Econometrics in 1982. He then began work on his PhD thesis entitled Returns to Scale, Technical Progress and Industrial Growth in the USSR and Eastern Europe: An Empirical Study, 1961-75, with John McCombie as his supervisor. He was awarded his doctorate in 1986 and the following year was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Otago. By 1991, after only four years, he had risen to the rank of full professor. This tribute will discuss some of Bairam’s key research contributions, as well as his contribution to the Department at Otago.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 212
Research Type: Discussion Paper