James Youtsler,professor emeritus of economics, died January 18, 1995, in Delray Beach, Fla. He was 87.
Born in Coal City, Ill., he earned a B.A. in economics-philosophy at Parsons College in 1930. He worked as a specialist in securities at the Chicago stock exchange from 1930 to 1934 and then as a buyer for Montgomery Ward for the next five years. He resumed his education at the State University of Iowa, receiving an M.A. in 1940 and Ph.D. in 1942 .
During his 33 years at Skidmore, Jim taught courses in industrial relations, labor economics, and investments. His interest in the economics of business led to his writing Labor Wage Policies in the Twentieth Century, published in 1956 and used widely throughout the U.S. as a basic reference for wage policies. His interest also in the economics of developing nations helped encourage other members of his department to pursue similar research.
When a chapter of the economics honorary society Omicron Delta Epsilon was established at Skidmore, the students inducted Jim as one of its first members. In 1965 he succeeded Coleman Cheney as chair of the Economics Department, a position he held until his retirement in 1975. On that occasion, Dean of the Faculty Edwin Moseley remarked that Jim’s students always “appreciated his continued accessibility, his willing advice, his many kindnesses to them, and his careful advising of them into their next professional steps.”
Jim and his wife, Anne, and their two children traveled extensively in the Middle and Far East. In 1963-64 he was a visiting professor at the American University of Beirut, and he earned a grant for research in the trade union movement in the Middle East. In 1971 he spent a semester in Japan.
Wife Anne, daughter Jane Ramachandran of San Diego, and son Alan of Irvine, Calif., survived him.