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Vale Warren Hogan

22 Jan 2010

WARREN PAT HOGAN, 3 April 1929-17 December 2009

Emeritus Professor Warren Hogan, a professor of economics at the University of Sydney for 30 years, has died aged 80.  Professor Hogan joined the University of Sydney in May 1968, and remained a highly respected member of the University community throughout his lifetime. He was Professor of Economics in the Faculty for three decades, combining a highly distinguished academic career with extensive contributions to business, government and service organizations.

Professor Hogan was born in Papakura, New Zealand, and attended the University of Auckland, completing a BA in 1950 and an MA in 1952, both in economics. Following this, he worked in the Research Department of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for three years (1952-1955).

From 1955 to 1958 he was a research student at the Australian National University, and awarded a PhD in economics in 1959. He was appointed to a lectureship at the then Newcastle University College in 1958 and rose to the rank of Professor of Economics in 1965, serving also as Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce when the University of Newcastle was formed out of the University College in 1965, until 1968.

In 1968 he was appointed Professor of Economics in The University of Sydney, where he was to remain for thirty years. He also held visiting appointments at the University of Manchester and the University of California, Irvine among other institutions. For the majority of years he was at The University of Sydney, he served as Head of the Department of Economics.

Over a long career Professor Hogan published well over 100 journal articles and chapters in books, together with an even larger quantity of shorter publications and conference papers. His contributions were wide-ranging.

The PhD research focused on growth theory, with particular reference to capital depreciation and replacement. This led quickly to articles in the very best international academic journals, the Review of Economics and Statistics (1958) and the American Economic Review (1959), the former exposing an error in the work of Robert Solow, a future Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Subsequently in the 1960s his research turned to the economic development of poor countries, with particular reference to Asia and Papua New Guinea, these activities including a period of work at the World Bank from 1970 to 1972.

From the 1980s his intellectual focus shifted again, towards finance and banking, which were to remain his key research interests for the rest of his life. In 1982 he published with Ivor Pearce, The Incredible Euro-Dollar. His research in finance covered a wide range of issues and problems, including risk-based capital adequacy rules, prudential supervision, empirical studies of foreign exchange markets, measurement of credit spreads, and the use of interest rate futures contracts for hedging purposes.

Professor Hogan also maintained a continuing interest in economic policy issues. From 1976 to 1981 he was an advisor to the Federal Treasurer in the Fraser coalition government, among many other advisory positions he held. From 2002 to 2004 he conducted the Review of Pricing Arrangements in Residential Aged Care for the Federal Government. He was also a member of the Board of Westpac Banking Corporation from 1986 to 2001, serving on the Credit Committee of the Board and the Board Audit Committee, intimately concerned with issues of credit culture, risk management and system stability, and was also on the Board of Directors of the AMP Society (1993-1996).

Warren Hogan twice served as President of the NSW Branch of the Economic Society of Australia, and on numerous other service organizations, including the Australian Manufacturing Council, the Australian Population and Ethnic Affairs Council, the Australian Population and Immigration Council, the Library Council of New South Wales and the Taxpayers Research Foundation (which he was Patron of from 2001 until 2009).

During the 1970s he was a long-serving member of the NSW Examination Committee for the High School Certificate, contributing to both the setting of examination papers and revisions of the Economics syllabus. In this capacity he also made many contributions to the high school economics teachers' journal, Economics.

Warren Hogan retired from The University of Sydney in 1998, but took up an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the School of Finance and Economics at the University of Technology, Sydney, and maintained an extraordinarily energetic and productive intellectual life for a further decade and more.

He is survived by his wife, Ialene, and children, Sandra, Kerry, Lindsay, Alan and Warren, together with 9 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

NOTE. A fuller account of Warren Hogan's career is provided in J. Lodewijks (2007) 'A Conversation with Warren Hogan', Economic Record, vol. 83 (December), pp. 446-60. An obituary will be published also in the Economic Record later this year.