Macroeconomist Berthold Herrendorf dies aged 58

Macroeconomist Berthold Herrendorf, whose work significantly moved forward understanding of the drivers of income and productivity, has died at the age of 58.

He was a professor of economics at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University (ASU), which he joined in 2003. Earlier in his career, Herrendorf was an associate professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain and an assistant professor at University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

He made multiple key contributions to the field, ranging from analyzing the impact of barriers to entry and trade on total factor productivity, to examining what sectors make poorer countries unproductive.

Most recently, Herrendorf’s research considered economic growth and development, with a particular focus on structural transformation.

In an internal email announcing his passing, Dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU Ohad Kadan, said: “I regret to share the sad news of Berthold Herrendorf’s sudden passing. Berthold was a professor in the Department of Economics and had been with W. P. Carey since 2003.”

He added: “Berthold was a force in the macroeconomics field. His research consistently blended economic theory with careful measurement and data. My condolences go to Berthold’s family, friends, and colleagues.”

Herrendorf’s 2014 chapter on the subject of structural transformation in The Handbook of Economic Growth (North Holland, 2014) is considered a standard reference for work in that area. He also held editorships at Research in Economics and the Economic Journal.

Alejandro Manelli, chair of the Department of Economics, at ASU said: “Our department lost an outstanding scholar and a friend. Berthold was always willing to talk through a research problem or take time to mentor early career scholars.” He added: “One could tell whether Berthold was in the room; he was never quiet! He always had an opinion and he shared it freely. We will miss him.”

Herrendorf earned his PhD at the European University Institute in Italy in 1996. He grew up in Germany and was a dual citizen of the United States and his birth country.