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Professor emeritus Jan Pen dies

15 February 2010
Portrait Jan Pen
Jan Pen (1921-2010)

On Sunday 14 February, professor emeritus and columnist Jan Pen died in Haren at the age of 88. Since 1956, Pen was connected with the University of Groningen when he was appointed as professor in political economy and the theory of public finance at the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Economics. In 1986, he delivered his valedictory lecture but he remained attached to the Faculty of Economics as honorary professor. For many years, Pen also wrote columns for the newspaper Het Parool.


In addition to many articles, Jan Pen also wrote a series of books. His major work Modern Economics (1959) was considered the standard introduction to macroeconomics for years and was translated in many languages. In 1977, an extended and revised edition appeared under the title Macroeconomics. Among his other books are Wie heeft er gelijk? (Who is right?) (1989) and Een Overzichtelijke Wereld (An orderly world) (1998).

Wrong obituary

Jan Pen died the day before his 89th birthday. However, on the 24th of May last year, several media announced Jan Pen’s death. The confusion was caused by an obituary of a namesake who worked for Het Parool. The economist Jan Pen responded with: “I’m not dead. I’m very much alive and sitting on my couch in Haren. I still play Bach and Jimmy Yancey’s blues on my keyboard every day. Have you ever heard of him?”

Jan Pen Prize

Since 2006, the University of Groningen Gamma support centre awards an annual Jan Pen Prize to students of secondary education who have written the best profile paper in the field of economics and society.

See also (10 October 2009) Film about Prof. Jan Pen available online : The influence of Keynes on his ideas

Last modified:09 August 2018 11.59 a.m.
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