UCL Department of Economics


Remembrance: Victoria Chick, emeritus professor of Economics

17 January 2023

Victoria Chick passed away on 15 January 2023 at age 86. Victoria will be remembered for her major contributions to post-Keynesian economics at a time when female participation in academia was rare.

Professor Victoria Chick


Plaque in memory of Victoria Chick, St John-in-Hampstead parish church

Plaque in remembrance of Victoria Chick


Victoria Chick memorial event

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Victoria Chick (1936 - 2023)

Victoria was born in Berkeley, California in 1936. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1950s, graduating with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics. Victoria had planned to study science but recalled, ‘[science] was so sexist, a woman just could not survive – they hounded you out. Somehow, I ended up in economics.’ 

Victoria was encouraged to consider graduate study by an undergraduate teacher. She recalled, ‘it was the Eisenhower recession, and I said OK – nothing else was happening: jobs were scarce.’ She pursued her graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and then the London School of Economics, citing her reason for choosing to study in England as, ‘most of the good universities in America at the time did not admit women or made it very difficult for them.’

Victoria accepted an assistant lecturing position at UCL in 1963, beginning a career in which she was eventually promoted to Professor in 1993, at a time when women at every level in UK academia were rare.

At UCL, Victoria’s research interests shifted from international economics to macroeconomics and monetary theory, and she taught courses in macroeconomics, money and banking, inspiring countless students through her generous supervision. Victoria’s cousin, Julie Phillips, shared that she received ‘messages, cards, calls, and visits from friends and former students all over the world, saying how much she had encouraged them in their work and how inspiring her own career had been. They knew her as a colourful and iconic person, impatient with ideas she didn’t like and endlessly supportive to the many friends and colleagues she did.'

Victoria was best known as a world-leading scholar of Keynes, for her contribution to the establishment of Post-Keynesian economics, and was an inspirational figure in the heterodox economics community more broadly. Influenced by Joan Robinson and Hyman Minsky, she made profound contributions to the understanding of Keynes, monetary history, financialisation, industrial policy and alternative methodological approaches to studying the macroeconomy. Her first major book, The Theory of Monetary Policy (1973), was a critical evaluation of the dominant approaches to macroeconomics of the time and, in 1983, she published Macroeconomics after Keynes, widely considered as one of the most influential works of the Post-Keynesian paradigm. In 1988, she co-founded the Post-Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG). As a prolific scholar, she published over 100 scientific journal articles, book chapters and highly regarded books.

Victoria was awarded scientific medals, international prizes and held positions in associations around the world, serving in the Royal Economic Society and spending time at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

She became increasingly frustrated with the wrong turn which she felt had been taken by mainstream economics, questioning the values underlying the dominant perspective, and became a passionate champion of diversifying the economics curriculum in terms of perspectives and methodologies.

Victoria retired in 2001 but remained a welcome presence in the department, a committed exponent of her views and an invaluable source of recollections on the history of economics and the department. She will be fondly missed.

A memorial will be planned for the spring, details for which can be obtained from Victoria’s cousin, Julie.

In the meantime, a book of remembrance has been opened online for those wishing to share memories, images and messages of condolence with her family.