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Labor economist and Professor Emeritus Charles A. Myers of Naples, FL died on April 2. He was 87.
The expert in industrial relations held joint appointments in the Department of Economics and the Sloan School of Management, and at the time of his retirement in 1978, held the Sloan Fellows Professor of Management chair.
In addition to his roles as professor, author and labor arbitrator, Dr. Myers served in advisory roles on national task forces and councils. During World War II he was a special consultant to the Labor Division of the War Production Board, solving problems associated with converting consumer goods industries to war production. In 1943 he was associated with the Civilian Personnel Division of the War Department and the following year he served as a public panel member of the War Labor Board in Boston.
Later he was a member of a federal advisory council on employment security (1957-59), served on the Presidential Railroad Commission from 1960-62 and on a national task force to review the US Employment Service (1956). In 1969 he was appointed chairman of the National Manpower Policy Task Force.
Professor Myers was author or co-author of about a dozen books on labor economics and labor relations, including Personnel Administration, a book he co-authored with Paul Pigors that became one of the leading texts on the subject. He was co-author of two of the earliest US labor market studies, The Dynamics of Labor Markets and The Movement of Factory Workers, and of several studies of comparative industrial relations: Industrial Relations in Sweden, Industrial Relations in India, and Management in the Industrial World. His later books focused on manpower and education in Education, Manpower and Economic Growth and The Impact of Computers on Management.
He was born in State College, PA in 1913, received the BA from Pennsylvania State College in 1934 and the PhD from the University of Chicago in 1939. He joined MIT as instructor in economics and social science in 1939, was appointed assistant professor of industrial relations in 1941, associate professor in 1946, and full professor in 1949. He became director of the Industrial Relations Section in 1948 and held a joint appointment in economics and management beginning in 1964. In 1967, he was appointed Sloan Fellows Professor of Management.
Professor Myers was a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a charter member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and president of the Industrial Relations Research Association in 1962.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy Ellen (Nash).
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 3, 2000.