Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Anne P. Carter: a Biographical Presentation

Akhabbar, Amanar (2011): Anne P. Carter: a Biographical Presentation. Forthcoming in:

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As a case study on the status of women in the economics profession, this article analyzes the fascinating career of Anne P. Carter. Prior to 1966 there were no women in the economics faculty at Harvard. In 1966 Carter became the first assistant professor of the Harvard Economics Department but, while she was permitted to offer seminars on topics of her choice and to advise students, she was never given any teaching assignments. Before that, while a Research Fellow at Harvard (1951-1955), she lectured at Smith College (1951-1953) and at Wellesley College (1954-1955). However, the 1970s were clearly a turn in the sense that Carter’s research interest were extended to energy and economic development issues, and that she left HERP (Wassily Leontief’s Harvard Economic Research Project) and Harvard in 1971 to move to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The situation of women at Harvard was still not encouraging. In 1967 she was one of the first women to become assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard but she felt unwelcome. Hence, after two decades of ambiguous settlement at Harvard, Carter went to Brandeis University as visiting professor and accepted a full professorship in 1972. HERP was closed officially in 1973 and the HERP library and research materials were shipped to Brandeis. In contrast with Harvard’s “stifling constraints on women” (Carter), Brandeis offered many welcome opportunities. Carter’s career at Brandeis is dazzling: between 1972 and 1979 she directed the Brandeis Economic Research Center; she became Fred C. Hecht Professor of Economics in 1976, served as dean of the Faculty from 1981 to 1986, chair of the Department of Economics between 1987 and 1993, and was Acting Dean of Arts and Sciences 1999-2000. Carter greatly developed the department of economics at Brandeis, and in this respect her work with Peter A. Petri was crucial (see Carter and Petri 1977, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1989).

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