Wednesday, December 30, 2015

In memoriam Edward Hugh

I was shocked to learn this afternoon of the death, in Girona, of Demography Matters' founder Edward Hugh. Alas, the obituary written by Xavier Grau and published in Ara is, sadly, undeniable. The world is missing a wonderful man.

Wikipedia's summary of his life serves as a perfectly adequate introduction, and reminder, to the man and his work.

Edward Hugh, dubbed by The New York Times as "the blog prophet of Euro zone doom" was a Welsh economist based until his last days in Catalonia, Spain, where he lived since 1990. He spoke French, Catalan, Spanish and English.

Born in Liverpool, Edward Hugh, who "attracted a cult following among financial analysts", studied at the London School of Economics but was drawn more to philosophy, science, sociology and literature. His eclectic intellectual pursuits kept him not only from getting his doctorate but also prevented him from landing a full-time professor’s job.

By inclination a macro economist, his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes often took him far from Economics and towards fields like demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. In particular his work was centred on the study of demographic changes, migration patterns, and the impact of these on economic growth.

In 2014 he published his first book entitled "¿Adiós a la Crisis?". He wrote the book in Spanish and it discusses the economic situation in Spain.

He worked on a book with the provisional working title "Population, the Ultimate Non-renewable Resource".

News of his death has spread quickly in the online communities where he was so actively until recently, on Twitter and (in the blogosphere) at A Fistful of Euros thanks to PO Neill.

As a long-time co-blogger and collaborator, all I can say right is that I will miss Edward. He was a man with a vision, a particular understanding of the way the world had developed and would develop, that merited sharing. On a more personal level, Edward's encouragement to me as a blogger and writer remains cherished.

He will be missed.

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