Rod Hay

Rod Hay passed away suddenly on Saturday, May 18th 2008 at the age of 60. A proud educator of economics, Rod taught courses in economics, economic history, and the history of economic thought at several universities in Ontario. At the time of his death he was a lecturer at the University of Guelph. Many will know him from his spirited comments on the History of Economics Society listserve. Others will appreciate that he was the energetic creator of the McMaster Archive for the History of Economic Thought, an electronic HET database of texts housed at McMaster University long before the existence of other such resources. He maintained the site, calling it “a work in progress that may never be completed.”

It is one of the most extensive databases of works by economists in existence today, with texts posted “primarily for the use of students who might not otherwise have access to these writings.” Works by Charles Babbage, William Blake, Adam Ferguson, and David Hume, to name but a few, are included at the site, which will continue to be maintained at McMaster.

Rod Hay

While at the University of Toronto as a graduate student in the 1980s, Rod was a driving force in the creation and continued existence of several ball teams, including the “Random Walks” and the "Imperfect Competitors." He also played on McMaster’s “Deadweight Losses”. He reminded the hot-headed economics graduate students that the games were not so important, after all. He was a good hitter with a good arm.

Rod will be missed by many.

This was written for the Newletter of the Canadian Economics Association by Sandra Peart, who was President of the History of Economics Society at the time of Rod’s death and is reproduced by permission. Very small additions and changes were made by Mike Veall of McMaster University.