Economist Lampman Dies

March 7, 1997

Robert J. Lampman, emeritus professor of economics, former chairman of the Department of Economics and adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, died March 4 of lung cancer at age 76.

Lampman earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate at UW–Madison, where his adviser was Edwin Witte, principal author of the 1935 Social Security Act. He returned to UW–Madison as a faculty member in 1958, serving until his retirement in 1987. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Institute for Research on Poverty in 1966 and played several roles in IRP.

Lampman was an expert on income distribution and the economics of health, education and welfare. He was a consultant to several federal agencies and departments, and wrote the chapter on poverty in the 1964 Economic Report of President Lyndon Johnson. Among his books were Ends and Means of Reducing Income Poverty, Social Welfare Spending and an edited history of the UW–Madison Department of Economics, Economists at Wisconsin: 1882-1992. Lampman was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991.

“Lampman was the perfect embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea among economists in our department,” said Glen Cain, emeritus professor of economics. “He combined his outstanding teaching with research that addressed major problems in our economy and society. Foremost was his analysis of the distribution of income and of ways of achieving equity in a market economy. He also was a wonderful colleague.”

Contributions may be made to the University of Wisconsin Foundation, c/o The Robert J. Lampman Memorial Fund, 1848 University Ave., Madison 53708; the First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave., Madison 53705; or HospiceCare Inc., 2802 Coho St., S. 100, Madison 53713.