Tribute to Daniel Cohen

With deep sadness tempered by some pride, I record the passing of a dear friend and wonderful colleague. The pride is that economics, our economics, could provide a secure intellectual base for this protean personality to reach out into many disciplines and widely influence thinking and policy. He did not need a ‘new paradigm’.  Pride too that Daniel was so enthusiastic in his French, European and global identities. CEPR benefited hugely from his European commitment. And no one was happier than Daniel to see the Centre finally establish a Paris base. Finally, personal pride that we worked together on sovereign debt. In theory and in practice, Daniel always sought the best among the self-fulfilling equilibria. May that commitment inspire us all.

Richard Portes Founder and Honorary President of CEPR

Daniel Cohen passed away on Sunday 20 August. This is a huge loss in many dimensions. Daniel was an outstanding economist and public intellectual whose contributions were both wide and deep. Tributes have already appeared from leading economists and politicians. His professional accomplishments will feature in many notices. CEPR adds here our own brief citation of Daniel’s key role in the early years of the Centre and his subsequent wide-ranging participation in CEPR activities.

Daniel Cohen was one of the first cohort of Research Fellows in CEPR’s International Macroeconomics programme. From the mid-1980s, he was a frequent leading author in early CEPR reports on major economic policy issues. He was Co-Director, between 1992 and 1997, of the International Macroeconomics programme. Daniel wrote or co-authored many CEPR publications, including over 40 Discussion Papers as well as books and reports, spanning almost four decades. He also wrote for VoxEU, most recently on the rise of populism in French politics and the importance of trust in government during the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. His intellectual and policy interests were French, European and global, adding greatly to CEPR’s reach.

Richard Portes, Founder and Honorary President of CEPR, had the privilege of working with Daniel in CEPR and also what became the Paris School of Economics. Learning of Daniel’s death, he said: ‘We owe an immense debt to Daniel, first for rigorous intellectual stimulation, and far beyond that for the amazingly broad and deeply humanist perspective he brought to economics in its social and political context. This enriched CEPR and the lives of all who knew him.’


You can watch a recording of the PSE Journée d’hommage à Daniel Cohen on YouTube .


Daniel Cohen

Professor of Economics École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay; Professor of Economics Paris School of Economics (PSE)