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In Memoriam: Professor Daniel Cohen (1953-2023)


Professor Daniel Cohen at The Cyprus Institute in 2015, delivering the annual "Hubert Curien Memorial Lecture" entitled “The future of Economic Growth”


The Cyprus Research and Educational Foundation (CREF) and The Cyprus Institute (CyI) community mourns the loss of one of its trustees, Professor Daniel Cohen of École Normale Supérieure. Professor Cohen, who passed away on August 20th after battling a blood disease, leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of students, including a Nobel Prize winner and a prolific body of work encompassing over fifteen books.
Born in 1953 in Tunis, Daniel Cohen embarked on a journey that would see him become one of world's most respected economists. His seminal academic work, characterized by its keen insights into global economic shifts, labor markets, and the challenges of globalization, resonated deeply both within and outside academia. A prolific author, Cohen wrote award-winning books including Homo Economicus: The (Lost) Prophet of Modern Times, which argued that the modern world has defined happiness mostly in terms of material achievement. "The Prosperity of Vice, A (worried) introduction to economics" (2009) was translated in Greek by CREF Trustee Prof. A. Giannitsis.
In parallel with his academic activity, Daniel Cohen was an advisor at the Lazard bank. In this capacity, he helped several countries (including the Greek Government of George Papandreou) to renegotiate their countries’ debt. His expertise also led him to participate, in partnership with the World Bank, in the “Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC initiative). Together with Thomas Piketty, they formed the Paris School of Economics in 2006, which evolved to be one of the leading institutions in the field of Economics, worldwide.
Beyond his academic laurels, Professor Cohen was a man of deep conviction and passion for sharing knowledge and an outstanding teacher. This is what brought him to Cyprus, to deliver the 2015 «Hubert Curien Memorial Lecture» on 29 October 2015, entitled “The future of Economic Growth”. Prof. Cohen explained the relationship of technology to the different development models and its effect on the labor market and economic challenges modern societies face. He was impressed by the vision of CREF and CyI, and graciously agreed to become a Trustee of CREF in 2017. Unfortunately, partly due to his deteriorating health he could not engage to the degree both he and the institute initially desired.
To his family, our deepest condolences. The Cyprus Institute is profoundly grateful for the time, energy, and vision Professor Cohen shared with us.   

"Daniel Cohen was a teacher, a man of ideals and pedagogy, a man of debate and commitment. We lose a great intellectual, an economist who made French research shine, a sincere humanist", commented French President Emmanuel Macron. It could not have been said better.


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