In Memory

Linda Datcher

In Memoriam [from the Tufts University Department of Economics)

Linda  Datcher Loury

Professor Linda Datcher Loury peacefully passed away on Thursday, September 22nd in her home in Brookline, after a long battle with cancer, surrounded by her husband Glenn Loury and their sons Glenn Jr. and Nehemiah. We know you join us in offering our warmest condolences to the Loury family at this very sad time. Linda was an intellectual and moral pillar of the Economics Department and the Tufts community, and there are no adequate words to express the enormity and sadness of this loss for all of us.

Linda was a Professor of Economics at Tufts, which she had joined as an Assistant Professor in September 1984. She obtained a B.A. in Economics with a Concentration in Black Studies, with distinction, from Swarthmore College in 1973, and her Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978, with a dissertation on "The Effects of Higher Women's Labor Force Participation Rates on the Relative Earnings of Black and White Families." Prior to joining Tufts, she held research and teaching positions at the University of Michigan from 1978 to 1982, and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard (W.E.B DuBois Institute and J.F. Kennedy School of Government) between 1982 and 1984.

Linda was a leading scholar in the fields of Labor Economics, Economics of Education, Social Economics, and the Economics of Inequality and Discrimination – with a focus on the economic effects of social identity and social networks. Her early research on family and neighborhood effect was truly path-breaking, placing her among the founders of the new and growing field of Social Economics. Her contribution on understanding the effects of community and family background on achievement is a modern classic, and far ahead of its time in light of the contemporary views of the importance of social interactions as a source of inequality. Her more recent contributions include influential work on job information networks, neighborhood effects, and inequality, as well as innovative research on the effects of gender and skin color on educational and economic outcomes. In addition to being an outstanding and path-breaking scholar, Linda was a dedicated, innovative and effective teacher and mentor, who had introduced numerous new courses in our curriculum, such as "Women in the Labor Market," "Income Inequality, Poverty and Economic Justice," "Topics in Non-Competitive Labor markets," and, most recently, "Blacks and Labor Markets," based on a book Linda was writing with her husband Glenn.

All who have ever interacted with Linda at Tufts will never forget her razor-sharp intellect, cultural depth, no-nonsense wisdom, exceptional moral compass, fortitude of character, unpretentiousness, and warm sense of humor. Our department and the university were blessed by her presence for 27 years. She will be sorely missed by all colleagues, students, and members of the Tufts community.

Linda's funeral took place on Sunday, October 2nd, at the Bethel AME church on Walk Hill St. in Boston. A memorial service to honor Linda's life and intellectual achievements took place on the Tufts University campus on Saturday, November 5th.

Professor Linda Loury's obituary in the Boston Globe can be accessed here.

View program of the Linda Datcher Loury's Celebration of Life Memorial

View photos of our celebration of Linda Loury's life (held on 11/05/11)

View video of the memorial

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06/15/13 10:10 PM #1    

Martha King

I'm so sorry to hear of Linda's death.  I'm also enriched by reading about her many contributions and accomplishments!

Our class of '73 at Swarthmore experienced the challenge of the black-white divide, with separate seatings at meals in Sharples and other social divides. I'm sorry that I didn't know Linda better. My heart goes out to her family and to her students over the years.  Martha King


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