In Memoriam: Andrew Hughes Hallett

“So very sorry to hear of Andrew Hughes Hallett’s passing—he was an accomplished economist, with the finest of intellects and, above all, a thoroughly decent man. My thoughts are with all who loved him.” —Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland

Andrew Hughes Hallett, Schar School University Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Economics, passed away December 31, 2019, after a seven-year battle with cancer. He was 72.

In addition to a distinguished academic career, Professor Hughes Hallett was a key member of the Scottish independence movement, serving on the Council of Economic Advisers to the government of Scotland and as a commissioner on the Scottish Fiscal Commission. More recently, he sat on the Scottish Growth Commission for the Scottish government, and was an expert advisor to the Kalman Commission of the UK government on economic governance.

His work as one of three commissioners on the Scottish Fiscal Commission was instrumental in shaping the controversial Scottish independence debate in 2014. (Based on the economic benefits he predicted in his findings, he was a “yes” vote for independence.)

“If we make it to the day of independence and the beginning of our generation’s work to create a better nation, the name of Andrew Hughes Hallett will be added to the pantheon of those who helped to get us there and make the most of it,” wrote economist and former Member of Scottish Parliament Andrew Wilson in the National (Scotland). “Rest in peace, you beautiful man.”

In recognizing Prof. Hughes Hallett’s illustrious career, Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell noted that he was “one of the most cited macroeconomists in the world, whose work intersected theory and practice. Scholars and government officials worldwide consulted his studies. He embodied what the Schar School represents.”

Prof. Hughes Hallett joined the faculty of the Schar School at George Mason University in 2007, after teaching stints at the University of Bristol, Erasmus University, Newcastle University, the University of Strathclyde, and Vanderbilt University. He was also a visiting professor at Princeton University, Harvard University, Cardiff University, and the Free University of Berlin, as well as the universities of Rome, Paris, and Milan. He advised governments, central banks, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Commission and European Central Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“Andy was one of our most accomplished economists, with a citation rating in the Top 50 in the world, and even higher in his specialty of macro-economic policy,” said Kingsley Haynes, the former Schar School dean who recruited the professor. “With his addition to our econ-policy faculty, it put our rating higher than any economics department in Virginia. Besides his outstanding economics and policy skills, Andy was a wonderful graduate student mentor and a wonderfully open personality. We were lucky to have him and we will miss him dearly.”

“Andy often commented that his extensive family of PhD students was his greatest legacy in economics,” his family wrote in a statement. “His students have gone on to many and varied roles, influencing economic research, academic advancement, political and government policy, and business.”

Prof. Hughes Hallett is survived by his wife Claudia, his sons David and Jim, and his daughter Nicola. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers or other contributions, donations be made to the Hughes Hallett Scholarship for Research in Applied Economics in conjunction with the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington. D.C. at