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Passing of Finis Welch

Finis Welch head shotFinis Welch, a renowned labor economist and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics, passed away on August 24, 2020 at the age of 82. Dr. Welch was Professor of Economics at Texas A&M University from 1991 to 2003, after serving on the faculty at UCLA, City University of New York, Southern Methodist University, and University of Chicago. His work explored the causes and consequences of income inequality and was published in top economics journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. An important component of his research examined the changing black/white disparity in earnings over the 20th century and highlighted the importance of education in improving the relative standing of Black Americans. In 2007, he was awarded the Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics by the Society of Labor Economists.

He held many leadership roles throughout his career, including Vice President of the American Economic Association, President of the Society of Labor Economists, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Member of both the National Academy of Social Insurance and the National Academy of Education.

In addition to his academic achievements were his entrepreneurial endeavors. His technical prowess as one of the first economists to study large data sets led him to co-found STATACorp, LLC. The company is headquartered in College Station and is the dominant statistical software used by economists and other social scientists around the world. He founded Unicon Research Corporation, the company that made Current Population Survey data available to researchers worldwide. He was President of Welch Consulting, Ltd and he operated Center Ranch in Centerville, TX. He also established the Finis Welch Foundation to provide scholarships to promising students who attend public universities in Texas. He is missed by his friends in Texas and around the country.

Read his obituary online.