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Dr. Edward Nissan, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Dies Nov. 19

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Dr. Ed Nissan

Dr. Edward Nissan, a Professor Emeritus of Economics in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs, died Nov. 19 in New York. He was 90.

A funeral service for Nissan was held Nov. 21 at Riverside-Nassau North Chapel in Great Neck, N.Y.

Nissan earned his Ph.D. in statistics and economics from Texas A&M University. He joined the USM faculty in the 1970s, initially in its former Department of Economics, teaching courses in price theory, econometrics, and international trade. His areas of expertise included economic growth and development, gender inequality, economic inequality, business concentration, foreign direct investment and actuarial practices in the insurance industry.

Widely published internationally and a frequent guest lecturer and forum panelist, Dr. Nissan’s most recent work examined the effect of bundling in the television market and questions of soft science, with the latter being a continuation of his work as a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics.

Dr. Edward Sayre, chairman of the Department of Political Science, International Development and International Affairs, said Nissan was a dedicated teacher who taught multiple generations of students during a career that spanned nearly 40 years at USM.

“He was one of the most prolific scholars in the history of the economics program here, and authored more than 130 refereed journal articles, but also enjoyed interactions with students and the way in which teaching enlivened his research,” Sayre said. 

Nissan was a research and teaching fellow with the Academy of Economics and Finance; twice a recipient of both the USM Excellence in Research Award and the Aubrey Keith and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence Award; and a three-time recipient of the USM College of Business’s Peter Brandt Publication Award, among many other honors he earned throughout his career.  

Former colleagues Dr. George Carter, who served chairman of the Department of Economics, and Dr. Mark Klinedinst remember Nissan as a humble yet passionate researcher, respected by faculty for his extensive scholarly contributions and collegiality.

“He went out of his way to help students prepare research conference papers and serve as a mentor for others, including myself when I was a young colleague having just joined the department, offering to do papers with me related to my work,” Klinedinst said.

Carter and Nissan co-authored nearly 75 publications and together participated in dozens of conferences. He said his friend and colleague was “a true polymath” whose intellectual curiosity led him into a wide range of questions, while always looking for the human element to ensure interest and relevance.

“He always had a valued opinion and saw a way to enhance someone’s learning, make a scholarly technical detail or smooth colleagues’ inevitable frictions,” Carter said. “He has been missed by the University since his retirement, and now he will be missed by his many friends forever.”