NERA Economic Consulting Mourns the Passing of Noted Economist Dr. Alfred Kahn

28 December 2010

28 December 2010/New York -- Cornell University Professor, former advisor to President Carter, “father of airline deregulation,” and longtime Special Consultant to NERA Economic Consulting, Dr. Alfred E. Kahn passed away on 27 December 2010. He was 93.

“Fred’s brilliant economic analysis, coupled with his candid wit, made him one of the greatest economists of our time,” said NERA Economic Consulting President Andrew Carron. “While his passing is a loss to the economics community, his thinking and work will continue to influence economists, academics, and policymakers for years to come. On behalf of NERA I extend our deepest condolences to Fred’s family and colleagues.”

Dr. Kahn’s storied economic career spanned more than seven decades. At the time of his death he was the Robert Julius Thorne Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, at Cornell University and continued to serve as a testifying expert witness on behalf of NERA. As Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board in the late 1970s, Dr. Kahn oversaw the deregulation of the airline industry. He was tapped by President Carter in 1978 to serve as an advisor on inflation and as chair of the Council on Wage and Price Stability.

Dr. Kahn testified before US House and Senate committees 70 times and also served on a variety of public and private boards and commissions, including the Attorney General's National Committee to Study the Antitrust Laws, the senior staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, chairman of the New York Public Service Commission, and as the chair of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Advisory Committee on Price Reform and Competition in the USSR.

Dr. Kahn also played an important role in the founding of NERA, acting as an advisor to company founders Irwin Stelzer and Jules Joskow. In addition to the inspirational and collaborative support Dr. Kahn provided to the firm over the past 50 years, he also acted as an expert witness in many regulatory matters on behalf of NERA. He was particularly influential in client issues regarding antitrust, flat rate pricing for telecommunications, marginal costing in both telecommunications and electricity, and net neutrality.

A leading scholar, Dr. Kahn spent the majority of his academic career with Cornell University’s Department of Economics. First joining the University in 1947, Dr. Kahn became an associate professor of economics in 1950 and a full professor in 1955. During his tenure at Cornell, Dr. Kahn served as Chairman of the Department of Economics, member of the Board of Trustees of the University, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Kahn received his bachelor's degree at the age of 18, summa cum laude, and master's degree from New York University, and earned his doctorate in economics from Yale University. He authored more than 130 academic papers as well as eight books over his career, including The Economics of Regulation: Principles and Institutions; Lessons from Deregulation: Telecommunications and Airlines After the Crunch; Whom the Gods Would Destroy, or How Not to Deregulate; Letting Go: Deregulating the Process of Deregulation; and Great Britain in the World Economy.

About NERA

NERA Economic Consulting ( is a global firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges. For more than six decades, we have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world’s leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real-world industry experience to issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation.

NERA’s clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. Our clients rely on the integrity and skills of our unparalleled team of economists and other experts backed by the resources and reliability of one of the world’s largest economic consultancies. Continuing our legacy as the first international economic consultancy, NERA serves clients from major cities across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.