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Raymond L. Richman dies at age 101
Howard Richman, 10/25/2019

RayRichman.jpgFormer University of Pittsburgh Professor of Public and International Affairs, well-known economist, soldier, and author Dr. Raymond L. Richman died at age 101 on October 23 at his home in Pittsburgh.

He earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1940 and was a member of the Illinois Bar. He served as a legal assistant to the Selective Service Board of Appeals in Toledo, Ohio until he enlisted in the army in December, 1941 as a private. During World War II, he became an officer in the US Army Air Corps, and exited his active military service in 1945 as Executive Officer of the 600th Bomb Squadron with the rank of Major, serving in the European theatre, and joined the US Air Force Reserve and rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel.

He received a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1957 and spent 1957-58 as a consultant to the European Productivity Agency of the Office for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) in Paris and teaching courses in Economic Productivity in Rome and Yugoslavia. He served for many years as a consultant to the World Bank, the IMF, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the US Agency for International Development, participating in and heading missions to Panama, Colombia, Central America, and Egypt. He also served as a consultant to the Asian Development Bank and directed the preparation of the Real Estate Assessment Manual of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, published in 1971.

He served briefly as head of the Departments of Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and taught at the Universidad de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. He traveled, lectured, and studied extensively in Brazil. When he retired from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982, he became Professor Emeritus of Public and International Affairs.

Raymond Richman authored four books, dozens of journal articles and hundreds of commentaries about economic development, tax policy and trade policy. In recent years most were co-authored with his son (Howard) and his grandson (Jesse), a unique three generational collaboration. Beginning with a commentary in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on September 14, 2003 (The Great Trade Debate), he became one of the first advocates of a policy of balanced trade, an alternative to the free trade vsfair trade debateHis essential argument was that trade, free or not, benefits both countries if it is balanced.

He was always there for his extended family whenever they ran into problems dealing with personal crises. As a result, he was the honored guest when his nephew Colonel Mark Richman moved his Air Force Medical Group retirement ceremony in 2016 from California to Pittsburgh so that Ray could participate.

A member of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Raymond is survived by his wife of 47 years Wilma T. C. Richman, his children Janice Richman, Howard Richman (and wife Susan Richman), Robin Richman and Lucila Silva, and Maria Silva (wife of Newton Silva), 11 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife Hilda Richman, his parents Reuben Richman and Ida Jakobson Richman, his brother Lester Richman, his sister Dorothy Stern, and his son Newton Silva.

Local friends and family will be received at his Pittsburgh home at 3:30pm on Sunday, October 27 (for info email A memorial service will be held in Sacramento CA on Sunday, November 10 (for info email

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Comment by Bruce Bishop, 10/29/2019:

Sorry to hear of the passing of your father/grandfather.  He left a great legacy.  I trust the two of you will carry on his work.  I, too, am gratified that President Trump is working to restore "fair and balanced" trade.

Comment by Barry Graham, 11/8/2019:

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of my dear cousin.  His first wife Hilda's grandfather was my great grandmother's brother and I remember how lovely Raymond was, as well as his children that I met.

Comment by Bob Bland, 11/28/2019:

Dr. Richman was my major professor as a PhD student in GSPIA.  I was his last doctoral student before he retired. His mentorship got me interested in local public finance. I owe him a great debt for his support during the dissertation phase of my degree. My sympathies to Wilma and the family. I remember Dr. Richman fondly and with deepest appreciation.


Bob Bland

Endowed Professor of Local Government

University of North Texas, Denton

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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]