The Barnard Community is saddened by the death of Anna Jacobson Schwartz '34, an acclaimed research economist. On the occasion of her death, The New York Times wrote "Mrs. Schwartz, who earned her Ph.D. in economics at the age of 48 and dispensed policy appraisals well into her 90s, was often called the 'high priestess of monetarism,' upholding a school of thought that maintains that the size and turnover of the money supply largely determines the pace of inflation and economic activity."
"Together with Milton Friedman, Anna Schwartz wrote the macroeconomic history of the United States and in that magisterial work established the conventional wisdom on what caused the Great Depression," said Prof. David Weiman, Barnard's Alena Wels Hirschorn '58 Professor of Economics and Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development.
"Anna Schwartz was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century," said Prof. Rajiv Sethi, Barnard's Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Economics. "Her work with Milton Friedman on the monetary history of the United States is among the most widely cited in all of economics. Her latest published piece appeared just three days before her death and dealt with the very topical issue of central bank intervention in currency markets. She had been working intensively with Michael Bordo and Owen Humpage on this topic, with five new working papers posted in the past two years alone. Her record of productivity and excellence is truly stunning, and she is surely among the most distinguished of Barnard's many, many illustrious alumnae."
The Financial Times called her "one of those few economists who changed our understanding of the world," and the Wall Street Journal wrote, "Anna Schwartz performed at the most austere level of her profession and gave the world the sensible, helpful results of that extraordinary achievement." Read more about her contributions to the field of economics in The Washington Post, NPR's "Planet Money," The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes.
Mrs. Schwartz is survived by her four children, including Paula Schwartz Berggren '63, who is professor of English at Baruch College in New York City.