Ivan Sandrof/Board Award Finalists
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Doug’s self-confidence spilled over onto the graduate students. He made them believe that they too could make great contributions, that they could operate successfully at the upper echelons of the profession, that they could do work of great and enduring value to historians, economists, and other scholars, and—lo and behold—some of them went forth armed with Doug’s inspiration and did make important contributions! Doug enjoyed teaching both graduate and undergraduate students, and he continued to teach courses at Washington University in St. Louis long after nearly all members of his cohort had retired or died. One might be tempted to quote St. Paul about his keeping the faith, but for Doug the work never had anything to do with faith. In his eyes, he was strictly a scientist, and he had little patience with colleagues who sullied their scientific work with what he took to be ideology.
This observation should not be seen, however, as a damning one. Building bridges between disciplines is not easy or simple work, yet Doug accomplished this sort of bridging time and again, to the enormous enrichment of both sides of the transaction. His work on institutions and his important engagement in creating the economics subfield of New Institutional Economics, work for which he was honored with a Nobel Prize in economics (shared with Robert W. Fogel) in 1993 and with other prestigious professional recognitions, falls within the realm of intellectual arbitrage.