The Corner

Economy & Business

Jerry Ellig, R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of my friend and former colleague Jerry Ellig. For those who didn’t know him, Jerry was one of the absolute best regulatory study experts we have ever had. His spent his entire profession studying an issue that is incredibly important and yet often neglected by economists and scholars.

A few years ago, his expertise was put into practice when he was named chief economist at the Federal Communications Commission. Under the chairmanship of Ajit Pai, Jerry and his team freed us from the net-neutrality rules, among other things.

There is so much more to say about Jerry, the economist. I am sure many will weigh in over the next few days. Here is Don Boudreaux, for instance:

Regular readers of Cafe Hayek — or of the Wall Street Journal — will recognize his name. Recently, he’s written several pieces with Phil Gramm, each busting prevalent and dangerous economic myths. This piece from 15 months ago is especially relevant now.

Among the papers that I’m most proud to have my name on is this one that Jerry and I wrote together in from 1992.

But for those of us who were lucky to know him, we will first and foremost miss Jerry, the friend. And friendly, he certainly was! Happy, too. It is impossible to truly recount what a remarkably original person he was. I bet you that all of us who knew him personally have the funniest stories to tell about him. I certainly have many from the year he was commuting to D.C. to work at the FCC from South Carolina and stayed with us at night. I am heartbroken for his wife and daughter, and for all of his friends and colleagues.

R.I.P., Jerry. I will miss you terribly.


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