Ernest Lluch Martín (Vilassar de Mar, 1937 – Barcelona, 2000)

He was born in the Catalan town of Vilassar de Mar in 1937. He graduated with the highest qualifications and won the Degree Award 1960-61 at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Barcelona. Shortly after, he became a member of the group of assistants that worked with of Fabián Estapé. From 1970 to 1986 he was appointed assistant professor of History of Economic Thought at the University of Valencia. This same year he was appointed to the full professorship of this discipline at the University of Barcelona. Undoubtedly endowed with a many-fold capacity of action and thought, he devoted part of his life to politics and became Spanish Minister of Health and Consumption between 1982-86. Besides, he was also appointed rector of the Menéndez Pelayo University between 1989 and 1995.

Following his Ph D thesis on El pensament econòmic a Catalunya (1760-1840) published in 1973, his guiding line of research was centred in the history of economic thought. He was also open to a whole wealth of other issues, following Keynes advice of writing everyday for the general public, especially on economic and civic issues. During his stay in Valencia, he became more devoted to research, and studied with special interest the problems of the long-term development in the region of Valencia depicted in the book La via valenciana (1976). He began a process of seeking new disciples, in Valencia at first, later in the Basque country, Aragon and in Catalonia as well. From a methodological point of view he endorsed the idea that economic thought should be viewed from a "national history" standpoint.

The most important aspects of his research work, particularly devoted to the 16-20th centuries, can be found in volumes 1-5 of the collective work Economia y economistas españoles, edited under the supervision of Enrique Fuentes Quintana (1999-2004). Other research areas to be mentioned were his interest on the influence of physiocracy in Spain and Europe, on which he wrote jointly with Lluís Argemí and José Luís Cardoso; and also on the Spanish economist Juan López de Peñalver (1763-1835). He helped divulge a series of authors still unknown in Spain at the time such as Sraffa, Hirschman, Leijonhufvud, Kalecki, Pasinetti, Sylos Labini or Meek. The 18th century became of paramount importance for him, and particularly the phenomenon of Catalan and Spanish "Austriacism" reflected in his books La Catalunya vençuda del segle XVIII(1996); Las Españas vencidas del siglo XVIII (1999); La alternativa catalana, 1700-1714-1740 (2000), and Aragonesismo austracista (1734-1742) del Conde Juan Amor de Soria (2000). In these books he outlined the autonomists reasons that led "Austriacists" to take sides in favour of the crown of Austria instead of the French Bourbons during the Succession War in Spain, considering that these motives were still valid at present. He took part in various publishing houses, such as the Oikos-Tau and Edicions 62, and of the Editorial Board of journals like RecerquesArguments or History of Economic Ideas. He also contributed to the creation of the Asociación Ibérica de Historia del Pensamiento Económico. He died tragically, shot by an ETA commando in Barcelona in the year 2000. At the time of his assassination he was working on an essay on the history of Catalan economic thought since Theological Scholastics. He left as a heritage over 200 scientific writings and a great many followers willing to transform the pain caused by his loss into an incentive to pursue his task.