Prominent Indian American economist Tapan Munroe is dead

Munroe was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Tapan Munroe, a highly lauded economist and writer for the Contra Costa Times newspaper, passed away on Tuesday, April 1 due to complications arising from pneumonia.

Tapan Munroe (courtesy of his website,
Tapan Munroe (courtesy of his website,

Munroe, who was 78 at the time of his passing, had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for several years. The pneumonia was reportedly brought upon by the Parkinson’s Disease, which had left his health too debilitated to adequately fight back against the illness. He is survived by his wife Astrid, daughter Leslie Munroe Baroody, and son Peter Munroe.

Munroe earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado, where he was a Colorado Fellow and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Epsilon honor societies. Additionally he was a graduate of the University of Chicago Executive Training Program and, according to his personal website, was “a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and a Deutsche Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) fellow at the University of Augsburg in West Germany.”

Other institutions Munroe had relationships with include the University of California at Berkeley, where he worked as an Adjunct Professor for several years, and he was also a Professor and Chair for the Department of Economics at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, in California. From 1998-1999, he was the Kiriyama Distinguished Professor for Asia Pacific Studies at the University of San Francisco.

For over a decade, he was the Chief Economist for Pacific, Gas, and Electric Company, and was also President of the Bay Area Chapter of the National Association of Business Economists. He was the former Chair of the Economics Committee of the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, D.C, a former member of the National Petroleum Council Task Force on Oil Prices, and a former Quarterly Chair for the Commonwealth Club of California. He also served, at one point, as a director of the California State University Institute in Long Beach, California, and was a trustee of the UC Merced Foundation, a volunteer fundraising board for the entire UC system.

For 32 years, he was a resident of Moraga, California, and wrote a bi-monthly economics column for the Contra Costa Times for two decades – the last of these, according to the Contra Costa Times, was published in October of 2011. The bio on his official website says that he had also written several columns for other papers, such as San Francisco Examiner, the Oakland Tribune, and the Journal of Corporate Renewal.

Munroe was also widely published in other venues, having written three books related to the dot-com explosion of the last decade: “Dot-com to Dot-bomb – Understanding the Dot-Com Boom, Bust and Resurgence” (2004); “Ecology of Innovation” (2008); and “What Makes Silicon Valley Tick?” (2009). He was also a regular contributor on local television and radio shows.

Originally from India, he has a brother and sister who both survive him there: Dr. Milan Mukerjee and Dr. Lekha Banerjee.

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