- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Robert H. McGuckin III, former chief of the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau and director of economic research at the Conference Board, died March 12 at his home in Alexandria of neuroendocrine cancer. He was 63.

Mr. McGuckin received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Ithaca College in 1965 and a doctorate in economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1970.

He taught economics at the University of California at Santa Barbara before moving to the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was involved in the major deregulation cases of the 1980s.

While at the Department of Justice, he was named Victor H. Kramer fellow at the University of Chicago School of Law for the 1978-79 academic year.

Before joining the Conference Board — a nonprofit organization that disseminates knowledge to help businesses strengthen their performance — Mr. McGuckin established the Longitudinal Research Database while he was at the Census Bureau, stimulating development of similar data sets in countries around the globe.

The database provided comparisons of productivity growth and living standards in more than 100 countries.

Mr. McGuckin also oversaw development of the U.S. Census Bureau/National Science Foundation Research Data Center network. Under his leadership, the Center for Economic Studies became a world leader in developing microdata approaches to economic theory and policy.

“Bob McGuckin’s contributions to the research and statistical communities are enormous,” said John Haltiwanger, chief economist for the Census Bureau from 1997 to 1999. “During his tenure, the Center for Economic Studies developed and sponsored research on U.S. business dynamics that has revolutionized the way economists think about and study the U.S. economy.”

Mr. McGuckin also was a director of the American Arbitration Association and the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics.

He was on the editorial board of the newly established Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis and served as an adviser to numerous government, professional and research organizations during his career.

Mr. McGuckin is survived by his wife, Barbara J. Katz of Alexandria; two children, Robert Lawrence McGuckin and Catherine Elizabeth McGuckin, both of Alexandria; and three grandchildren.

Charitable contributions in Mr. McGuckin’s memory can be made to the American Economic Association “Pipeline Project Fund,” 2014 Broadway, Suite 305, Nashville, TN 37203, or the Health Care Reform Research Program of the Center for American Progress, 133 H St. NW, 10th floor, Washington, D.C. 20005.

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