Walter Oi, a distinguished labor economist who visited the Industrial Relations Section in 1973-74, died on December 24th, 2013 in Rochester, NY.

Walter was an influential economist and a friend and mentor of many who admired his work.  His "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor" set the standard for all modern studies of labor demand, emphasizing the role of hiring and related costs as an explanation for why employment changes are a lagged response to demand shocks.

Born in Los Angeles as a child of Japanese Americans, Walter, with his family, was incarcerated during World War II, along with many other Japanese-Americans. He later attended UCLA and the University of Chicago. For many who knew him, his accomplishments were truly astonishing despite his blindness (a result of retinitis pigmentosa).

Walter's work on the Gates Commission, whose recommendations resulted in the advent of the All-Volunteer (aka professional) Army, was his great pride.

 

http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=8002