Vernon W. Ruttan (1924-2008) received a B.A. from Yale University in 1948 and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1952. He was a Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota from 1965-1970, where he continued to work until his retirement in 1999. He held a joint position as Professor in the Department of Economics from 1978-1986. In 1986 Ruttan was named a Regents Professor of the University of Minnesota. He also served as a staff economist in President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisors (1961-63), as an agricultural economist for the Rockefeller Foundation at the International Rice Research Institute, IRRI (1963-65), and as President of the Agricultural Development Council (1973-78). Ruttan was elected a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association (1974); American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1976); the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1986); and to membership in the National Academy of Sciences (1990). Ruttan’s research was in the field of agricultural development, resource economics, and research policy. He was the author of Agricultural Research Policy, (University of Minnesota Press, 1982); (with Yujiro Hayami) Agricultural Development: An International Perspective (Johns Hopkins Press, 1985); Technology, Growth and Development: An Induced Innovation Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2001), Social Science Knowledge and Economic Development (University of Michigan Press, 2003), and Is War Necessary for Economic Growth? Military Procurement and Technology Development (Oxford University Press, 1996).
Vernon W. Ruttan