Saturday, 18 July 2015

Seamus Hogan

Seamus Hogan died Friday of a brain aneurysm. He is survived by his wife Sarah, and their three children.

I met Seamus in 2003 when I joined the Economics Department at Canterbury. He was the best colleague anybody could ever hope to have: the kind that makes everybody else smarter and more productive. He set the Department's culture; he was Canterbury's Aaron Director.

Everybody knew that he was the one to go to if you had a problem in a theory paper that needed sorting out. Some folks get theory and have no intuition. Others have intuition but suck at maths (me). Seamus mastered both, and that's more rare than it should be. He was generous with his time, and pulled far more than his fair share of Departmental service - the master of the Departmental and university lore.

Seamus was this year elected President of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Seamus taught just about every one of Canterbury's serious graduates in economics for well over a decade. He was the best lecturer I have ever seen perform. There was no finer preparation for being an economist, anywhere in New Zealand, than Seamus's microeconomic theory with a capstone of his graduate course in welfare economics. Our students knew it too. His course was not compulsory at Honours, but it was rare that less than 90% of the Honours cohort would sit it.

I see his, and our, students everywhere in Wellington.

If you've read him here, you know him. He'd just had his sixth anniversary as co-blogger.

There'll be more to come here in a few days. This is going to leave a pretty large hole in New Zealand's economics community. And a bigger one for his family.


  1. This is horrifying news. What a tremendous loss to the profession.

    Thoughts with Seamus's family, colleagues and students, especially the many former students of his who I work with.

  2. I am so terribly sad to hear this. He was an amazing lecturer, and put so much time and thought and care into his teaching. You're absolutely right about his micro and welfare courses, Eric; easily two of the best courses I took at uni. And I know I and many other students valued his advice highly.

    My sincere sympathies to his family, and to everyone in the economics community. What unbelievably awful news.

  3. That is really sad and will definitely leave a big hole in many different ways. I had just met Seamus, but was already in awe of his teaching style and approach to economics, especially the weaving of Shakespeare with economics. I was meant to have a meeting with him this week to put the world to rights on the microeconomics of unpaid care.

  4. I'm absolutely stunned, shocked and deeply saddened... What a random and horrible event.


  5. I'm shocked. I never knew Seamus, but I knew and appreciated his writing. Seems a tragic waste.

  6. Shocked to see this just now. I first met Seamus about 25 years ago, and we've crossed paths many times since. We met for coffee when I was passing though Wellington just 10 days before his death. Rest in peace.

  7. Very saddened to hear about Seamus. I never knew him, apart from his writings. I disagree with lots of what Seamus wrote, but recognised him as a brilliant thinker and he made an important contribution to public debate. A big loss.

  8. So sad to hear about Seamus, I had the pleasure of working on the NZAE conference with Seamus over the past 4 years. I loved his sense of humor and how his brain worked. Thinking of his family and colleagues at this difficult time.