The Veblen-Commons Award
Mayhew, Anne, Journal of Economic Issues
It is my great pleasure to introduce this year's recipient of the Veblen-Commons award, Professor Anne Mayhew. When Jan Knoedler and I decided we wanted to nominate Anne for this award, we asked Anne if she would send us a vita. Anne said she would send us just the short version, which should be enough information to write nominating letters. Well, Anne's short version was ten pages long. We teased Anne about this, and she replied that it was just long because she was old. Of course, we all know better than that.
Anne has had, and continues to have, a very distinguished scholarly career with many articles and conference papers. She has contributed articles in economic history, business history, economic anthropology, and the history of economic thought. However, it is her contributions to institutionalism that interest us here today. Many of you are familiar with articles such as "Culture: Core Concept Under Attack" and "The Beginnings of Institutionalism" because they are must reading for anyone new to institutionalism. However, any of Anne's writings would be a good introduction to institutionalism, because whether she is writing an article in economic history or history of economic thought, Anne is always an institutionalist.
Anne's firm convictions and understanding of institutionalism are valuable not only in her scholarship but in her interactions with other economists. Indeed, Anne's major contribution, I believe, is in her service to the cause of institutionalism. She attends an average of four or five conferences a year. When she presents a paper, it is interesting and thought provoking. Even when she does not present a paper, she attends sessions and typically makes insightful comments. When Anne attends AFEE and AFIT, we benefit. When she attends IAFFE or a business history conference, we also benefit, because Anne is such an effective ambassador for institutionalism.
Although Anne was not my teacher, I know many of her former students. Among graduate students at the University of Tennessee, she was widely regarded as one of the very best professors. …