Adhip Chaudhuri

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Adhip Chaudhuri, an international economist, recently retired from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, passed away in Vienna, Virginia, on January 13, 2014 from complications of lung cancer. He was 62 years old. In his research and writing he applied philosopher John Rawls’s seminal work on social justice to measurable economic social welfare indices.

Born in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, India, on July 25, 1951, to Sabitri and N. K. Chaudhuri, he was the youngest of four children. Chaudhuri attended Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission high school in Kolkata (Calcutta), graduating in 1967 with high honors in statewide examinations, and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, where he graduated in 1970 with honors in economics at the top of both his class and the university.

He pursued graduate studies at Delhi School of Economics and Columbia University, New York, where he obtained a PhD in economics with his dissertation, “Envy, Distributive Justice, and Social Choice.” His thesis advisers were Nobel Prize­winning economists William Vickery and Edmund Phelps. His areas of specialization were welfare economics, international economics, and the history of economic thought.

He began teaching at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in 1979. An exceptionally gifted teacher known for his ability to make difficult concepts understandable and relevant to his students’ lives, he was recognized as teacher of the year three times. One of his students rated Chaudhuri as “the real deal,” adding, “His lectures are clear, relevant, and to the point.…Pay attention, dive into the material, and Chaudhuri will maximize your return on the time you invest in the course.”

Chaudhuri taught and lectured internationally, in Vienna, Hanoi, and Doha, Qatar. His writings on international trade, finance, and social welfare appeared in such academic journals as Theory and Decision and Social Choice and Welfare and in The Multinational Corporation in the 1980s, edited by Charles P. Kindleberger and David Audretsch, published by MIT Press in 1983.

A passionate bridge and tennis player and an avid gardener, he leaves behind his wife, Joanne Kinney Smyth, his children, Maya of Atlanta and Neal of Washington, DC, his former wives, Una Chaudhuri of New York and Margaret McBride of Virginia, and his brother, Pradip, and sister, Shibani, of Kolkata.