Obituary for Peggy Musgrave

Professor Emerita Peggy B. Musgrave has died in New Jersey, at the age of 93.

Born in Maldon, England in 1924, Peggy's parents, Herbert and Blanche Brewer, were of modest means. Her father, however, was a self-taught intellectual; one whose writings had attracted the attention of George Bernard Shaw and Sir Norman Angell, among others. Surrounded, as she was, by his books on science, natural history, and philosophy, it was inevitable that her own intellectual curiosity would lead her to pursue a life of academic research and scholarship; she wasted no time. At the age of eleven, she passed the entrance examination to the local Grammar School, and at eighteen matriculated to Cambridge University, the first student from her school to have done so; in celebration, the school was given a holiday.

Unfortunately in 1944, in the midst of WWII, Peggy's approaching Cambridge graduation was short-circuited by conscription into war service. Consequently, she served in the American OSS until the end of the war, in London, and it is there that she met and married a fellow OSS officer, and moved to the U.S.

Following a stint at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Peggy concurrently completed her B.A. and M.A. in economics at American University in Washington D.C., and shortly thereafter an economics PhD. at Johns Hopkins; her thesis was published in book form. Also, during this time she worked as a summer intern at both the Federal Reserve and the International Tax Division of the Treasury Dept.

She began her professional life as a senior research associate at Columbia University and a member of a study group on economic integration in Common Markets headed by Prof. Carl Shoup. The mid-sixties found her teaching international economics at the University of Pennsylvania, where she had been appointed as an assistant professor. It was at this point that Peggy was with her second husband, soulmate and love of her life, Richard A. Musgrave, who was then teaching at Princeton University. Now together, they moved to Cambridge, MA., where he had taken up the H.H. Burbank Professorship in public economics at Harvard. Peggy then joined the International Tax Program at the Harvard Law School where she produced further publication.

Peggy continued her academic career, first as an associate and then full professor at Northeastern University in Boston; and it was at this point that she and Richard, full-bore academic collaborators, were invited to San Francisco as visiting Ford Research Professors at Berkeley; and while working at Berkeley, the University of California offered the professorship at Santa Cruz. She served at UCSC until 1992, and was heavily involved in both teaching and administration. She was provost of Crown College at UCSC from July 1, 1987 - 1989.

Her husband, the noted scholar on public finance, then retired from Harvard, also spent two years as an adjunct professor at UCSC. He died in 2007 at the age of 96 Peggy's economics scholarship followed from her principal interest in the taxation of foreign investment; a subject concerning which she testified at several Congressional hearings; and about which she wrote a white paper for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

She was a member of the American Economic Association, the National Tax Association, and was an Honorary member of the International Institute of Public Finance; as well, an honorary board member of the Center for Economic Studies at the University of Munich.

The International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF) created the "Peggy and Richard Musgrave Prize" in 2003 to honor and encourage younger scholars whose work meets the high standards of scientific quality, creativity and relevance that has been a mark of the Musgraves’ contribution to public finance.

Peggy is survived by three children, Pamela Clyne of New Jersey, Roger Richman of Malibu, Ca., and Thomas Richman, of Boulder, Co., four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Her ashes will be buried with those of her husband and his father in Cambridge, MA. The memorial will be private.