A letter to the IAFFE community (by Dr. Todorova)

Dear IAFFE members,

By now many of you may know about the passing of one of the most passionate and prominent heterodox economists Fred Lee. In February 2014 Fred was diagnosed with a non-smoker lung cancer. In May 2014 he retired from the University of Missouri – Kansas City – where he worked tirelessly to advance heterodox economics as a movement, the success of the department, and the development of heterodox economic theory.

Fred has published in Feminist Economics, and in his 2009 book on the History of Heterodox Economics, he writes about sexism in the Economics profession, among other injustices. He has emphasized many times publicly and privately that he drew on feminist economics, on social economics, as well as on institutional economics to develop his most current analysis of social provisioning. He wanted to break divisions between heterodox economic approaches, and he was for intellectual pluralism. As you probably know, among other undertaking and hard work, he was also the founder of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter and the Heterodox Economics Directory – two important pieces of the infrastructure of heterodox economics and community: http://www.heterodoxnews.com

I think Fred’s most important concerns were: 1) building a growing community of heterodox economics; 2) reproducing teachers of heterodox economics; 3) building bridges across heterodox approaches and people; 4) a methodology that breaks the micro-macro split and allows a heterodox vision of agency; 5) a heterodox theory grounded in reality, including dispelling of the “price mechanism” and articulating an empirically supported alternative; and building heterodox micro-foundations;  and 6) economics centered on and supportive of people’s lives. His work along these lines is visible in the AFEE program that he put together for the ASSA conference in Boston 2015, while battling cancer.

There is a website created and maintained through the years by Tae-Hee Jo – you can find not only statements in memory of Fred Lee, but also other valuable material about economics: http://heterodoxnews.com/leefs/

Here is information about the Frederic S. Lee Heterodox Economics Scholarship Fund that was created by Fred and Ruth Lee: http://heterodoxnews.com/leefs/fsl-scholarship/

FSL Heterodox Economics Scholarship | Professor Frederic S. Lee
The purpose of the Fund shall be to provide scholarships for tuition and fees, up to three classes per semester, for doctoral heterodox economics students. Eligibility:  The students eligible for a…

In sorrow,

Zdravka Todorova

Associate Professor
Department of Economics
Wright State University

Vice President
Association for Institutional Thought