We are saddened to share the news of Emeritus Professor Ann Harding’s passing. Professor Harding was a leader of the economics profession in Australia, and made exceptional contributions over the course of her career that will endure into the future.
Establishing the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) in 1993, Professor Harding had both technical excellence and policy aptitude alongside the passion to improve the evidence base for policy in Australia.
In establishing and leading the research program at NATSEM, Professor Harding pioneered the use of microsimulation in Australia and established long-term collaborations with the many policymakers who use NATSEM’s models and research. During the 16 years Professor Harding headed the research program at NATSEM, she led the development of highly sophisticated microsimulation models and databases, to enable policy makers to gain much better information about the likely distributional impact of current and proposed policies. Ann published widely and acted as a referee on numerous publications, sitting on countless government and professional bodies.
Professor Harding was a leader in connecting the international microsimulation community, hosting the first international conference for microsimulation researchers in 2003 and leading the establishment of the International Microsimulation Association in 2007 as its founding President.
Appointed a full professor at the age of 34, Professor Harding also inspired many female economists and provided a much needed role model for the following generations to emulate. Professor Harding was a mentor for many in the profession, and she will be sorely missed.
Professor Harding’s made significant contributions to the ESA throughout her career including a term as ACT ESA President.
We share our condolences with Professor Harding’s family, friends and colleagues.
Catherine De Fontenay