Remembering Professor Yujiro Hayami

Source: Fukuoka City

I write today with very sad news as I regret to inform you that Professor Yujiro Hayami passed away on December 24, 2012. This is a great loss to the international agricultural economics community and to the development economics community in general.  Professor Yujiro Hayami was a friend, mentor, and influential member in our profession.

Professor Hayami remains an unparalleled presence in agricultural economics and international development, beginning with his early studies as a Rockefeller Fellow at the University of Iowa, to his many professorial positions at universities around the world, and numerous honors and awards achieved—including the Purple Ribbon Medal and Honorary Lifetime Member from the International Association of Agricultural Economists. His groundbreaking work, together with Professor Vernon Ruttan, on technological and institutional innovations has shaped international development for the past several decades.

As a former Member of the IFPRI Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1994, he made inimitable contributions which remain embedded in the fabric of the Institute today. His expertise on East Asian agriculture and rural development helped IFPRI to expand its work in the region and to focus on micro level (household and village) evidence.

I first met Professor Hayami in 1987 at the University of Minnesota during my graduate study.  His discussion on measuring agricultural productivities across different countries heavily influenced my thesis.   He was a very humble, but impactful individual. His work and style of research influenced both my own efforts surrounding agricultural economics, as well as countless others in the field, including many here at IFPRI.

We will surely miss Professor Hayami’s presence and significant contributions. His memory and influence, however, will live on in the many generations of young agricultural economists he has inspired to seek solutions to achieving agricultural development and poverty reduction.