Werner Z. Hirsch, 89, a UCLA economist whose work led to the first textbook on the economics of state and local governments, died July 10 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Los Angeles.
Hirsch joined UCLA in 1963 as an economics professor and founding director of the school’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He also worked with Rand Corp. to develop a new planning and budgeting system that was used by the Defense Department and some state and local governments.
He retired in 1990 but continued to teach undergraduates.
“Werner Hirsch was a national expert on state and local finance, the use of outsourcing and contracting by governments, and educational policy,” said professor emeritus Daniel J.B. Mitchell, a former UCLA colleague and collaborator.
Hirsch was born June 10, 1920, in Linz, Germany. His family fled the country in 1936 to live in what is now Israel. He immigrated to the United States in 1946 and enrolled at UC Berkeley, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1947 and a doctorate in economics in 1949. He started working in Berkeley’s economics department in 1949, and joined the Brookings Institution in 1952 and Washington University in St. Louis in 1953.