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Professor emeritus Stuart Mestelman

Remembering professor emeritus Stuart Mestelman

Members of the McMaster community have shared their memories of Professor Emeritus, Stuart Mestelman, who died on June 25, 2022.

Jun 30, 2022


Colleagues are fondly remembering Professor Emeritus Stuart Mestelman for his tremendous contributions to research, teaching, learning and the McMaster community. Mestelman died on June 25, 2022.

Stuart joined McMaster’s Department of Economics as an assistant professor in 1969 before being promoted to Associate Professor in 1976, and to Professor in 1986. His research interests were many, but he primarily focused on public economics, resource and environmental economics and industrial organization. Stuart was also a leading contributor to the development of the field of experimental economics. In his decades-long career, Stuart published dozens of papers and contributed to many books. To date, scholars have cited his publications in over 2,700 works.

“I had the pleasure of collaborating with Stuart on multiple research projects. He was an exceptional, generous colleague and meticulous scholar who helped others think more clearly about their work,” said Social Sciences Dean Jeremiah Hurley.

In 1994, Stuart and his colleagues helped found the McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory (McEEL). Stuart served as the lab’s co-director between 1994 and 2017, long past his official retirement from McMaster in 2008.

McEEL transitioned to the McMaster Decision Science Laboratory in 2018 and continues to facilitate the controlled, experimental and observational study approach to economic research pioneered by Stuart and his colleagues. He continued to work with the lab until his death, serving as co-director emeritus.

"Stuart was a great leader whose thoughtful leadership style was exemplary,” said Marc-André Letendre, associate professor and Chair of the Department of Economics. “When I think of him, I think of a man who was passionate about his research work and who was always willing to debate the merits of experimental methods in economics. His tenacity contributed to the evolution of the field of experimental economics.”

Stuart’s impact was also felt across the Faculty of Social Sciences. He served as acting associate dean for one year between 2004 and 2005. In July 2002, he briefly acted as the dean. He held the position of Chair of the Department of Economics on two occasions, between 1986 and 1992 and again between 1997 and 2004.

"Stuart set the standard for a superb chair. In particular, he frequently consulted both on an individual and group basis. And he took our advice seriously. I always felt very closely listened to by Stuart," said Martin Dooley, professor emeritus.

Stuart integrated graduate students into his research studies, supervising over 20 PhD students during his career. He would fondly note that these students “kept him young” as he neared his retirement.

In recognition of Stuart’s support of McMaster students, his family has indicated their intent to establish a scholarship for an upper-level Social Sciences student in his honour. For those interested, Stuart’s family would be grateful for a donation to support Social Sciences students at McMaster University through the Stuart Mestelman Student Scholarship Award.

Make a gift by entering "the S. Mestelman Scholarship Fund" when prompted.

The faculty and staff of the Faculty of Social Sciences extend sincere condolences to Stuart’s family and friends.