Johnson, Harry Gordon

Harry Gordon Johnson, economist, teacher, author (b at Toronto 26 May 1923; d at Geneva, Switz 9 May 1977). He obtained his formal education at Cambridge (BA), U of T (MA) and Harvard (PhD). He held permanent teaching positions in Canada and Europe and visiting positions at universities worldwide. His most influential associations were with U of Chicago (1959-77) and simultaneously London School of Economics (1966-74).

Johnson was one of the most prolific economists of his generation, publishing many works that advanced the frontier of economic science, most notably in international and monetary economics theory. Some of his contributions to the theory of tariffs and the monetary approach to the balance of payments have been standard readings for graduate students in economics worldwide. He also wrote many more rhetorical works aimed at the general public and policymakers. In his policy-oriented writings, he was a staunch defender of personal freedom and markets.

He retained a lifelong interest in Canadian economic policies and often criticized the country's nationalist and interventionist policies, as is evidenced by his collection of papers in The Canadian Quandary. As an editor of economics journals - especially the prestigious Journal of Political Economy - he influenced strongly the nature and quality of economics research.