Robert (Bobby) Willig
Robert (Bobby) Willig, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics of the U.S. Department of Justice, passed away on October 21, 2022 in Ewing, NJ.
Bobby was born in Brooklyn, NY, and received his Ph.D. in Economics and an M.S in Operations Research from Stanford University, and an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard University. He began his career at Bell Labs in Princeton, becoming Supervisor in the prestigious Economics Research group. After just five years, he was recruited to join the faculty of Princeton University as a full professor. He taught for 43 years at the School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University, and served as the Faculty Chair of the Master’s Program in Public Affairs. Bobby’s research and teaching specialized in the fields of industrial organization, regulation, antitrust, and welfare theory.
Bobby consulted for the Federal Trade Commission, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, diverse national governments, and numerous private clients. Along with partners Janusz Ordover, Jon Orszag, and Meg Guerin-Calvert, he founded Compass Lexecon, the largest economic consulting firm in the world.
Over his long and distinguished career, Bobby has been the influencer or driver of many of the most important regulatory and antitrust events of the past 50 years.
From 1989 to 1991, Bobby served as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Economics in the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. In that role, he was critical to the development of the DoJ/FTC Horizontal Merger Guidelines, which define how the antitrust authorities of the federal government analyze mergers. Bobby’s influence forever put economic analysis at the center of merger matters for the US Government. After leaving the Department of Justice, he continued his public service by advising state, federal, and international agencies on welfare-enhancing economic regulation.
He was qualified by numerous courts, regulatory bodies, and arbitrators as an expert witness in the fields of microeconomics and industrial organization and their areas of application such as competition policy, pricing, costing, valuation, intellectual property, and contractual relations.
His most cited work is his seminal 1982 book, Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure with William Baumol and John Panzar. This idea of “contestable” markets has had a lasting impact on the field and the analysis remains unsurpassed to this day.
Bobby is also the author of the book Welfare Analysis of Policies Affecting Prices and Products, and he wrote over 80 articles in professional economics and law literatures. His influential paper “Consumer’s Surplus without Apology” opened the door for the welfare analysis of imperfectly competitive markets. He was a co-editor of both The Handbook of Industrial Organization and Can Privatization Deliver?: Infrastructure for Latin America and Second Generation Reforms in Infrastructure Services, and served on the editorial boards of the American Economic Review, the Journal of Industrial Economics, and the MIT Press Series on Regulation. He was also elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society just eight years after his Ph.D.
At Princeton University, Bobby brought his real-world experience and contagious passion to undergraduate and graduate classrooms for over four decades. He taught microeconomics in the economic department’s large 101 introductory course, and a popular mid-level course on industrial organization, but his most impactful teaching was to generations of Masters of Public Affairs students. Princeton University estimates that over 1,200 of the world’s leading policymakers owe their microeconomic training to Professor Bobby Willig.
But Bobby considered his greatest accomplishment to be the product of his collaboration with Ginny Mason, his loving wife of 49 years. Together, Bobby and Ginny created four children and raised two nephews who collectively produced 11 children, all of whom received Bobby’s powerful wisdom, guidance, genetics, and unconditional love and support. Most importantly, he gave them a North Star to look up to and live by.
Family was Bobby’s greatest passion and highest priority, followed by his economics work, bridge, mathematics, pinball, pens, poker, and giraffes. Bobby earned the title of Bronze Life Master from the American Contact Bridge League and will forever hold the all-time record 2785 on the pinball machine at the now-defunct Tommy’s Lunch in Cambridge, MA.
Bobby had his own unique way of working. His deepest insights were most often produced between midnight and sunrise. He was intensely and equally intellectual, passionate, clever, nurturing, brilliant, generous, emotional, confident, and loving.
There is little doubt that countless family members, students, colleagues, friends, and all those who intersected with him at some point in his 75 years, were impacted significantly positively, and in many cases profoundly, by Bobby Willig.
Bobby is predeceased by his parents Meg and Jack Willig, and his sister Paula Siegel. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Ginny Mason; his four children Jared Mason Willig (Chief Content Officer, Townsquare Media and former Managing Director, AOL Entertainment) and wife Julia Benedict, Scott Mason Willig (Head of Precious Metal Trading and Managing Director, JP Morgan) and wife Brittany Harris, Brent Mason Willig (Team Lead at The Emerson Group) and wife Sasha Khachatryan, and Alexandra Mason Willig (Vice President at Horizon Media) and husband David Helene; eight grandchildren Samantha, Allison, Jax, Charlotte, Elle, Naomi, Banks, and Jordan Willig (after seven granddaughters, finally a boy!); beloved nephews Danny Siegel and David Siegel and wife Myra Clark-Siegel and children Noa, Elai, and Benjamin.
Funeral services were held October 24 at The Jewish Center of Princeton, with burial at Princeton Cemetery.
Shiva was observed Monday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 25 at the home of Ginny Mason and Bobby Willig.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to NJTL of Trenton (NJTLoftrenton.org) or The Jewish Center of Princeton (thejewishcenterofprinceton.shulcloud.com).
Arrangements are by Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel. For condolences please visit Bobby’s obituary page at OrlandsMemorialChapel.com.
Robert Lawrence Moser, MD
Robert Lawrence Moser, MD, of Skillman, NJ, 70, died peacefully in his vacation villa in Ispica, Sicily. He leaves behind his loving wife, Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, PhD, children, Rachel Moser Vassak (husband, James Vassak) and Alexander Robert Moser (wife, Kristin Grogg), and grandchildren, Serena, Natalie, and Clara Vassak, as well as his sister, Barbara Mattson, and his Scolaro brothers- and sister-in-law (Frank, Vincent, Giovanni, Peter, and Marie Scolaro), and many nieces and nephews.
Raised in Denville and a longtime resident of Princeton, NJ, Dr. Moser was an Eagle Scout, attended Lafayette College (Phi Beta Kappa), was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, achieved his MD at Hahnemann Medical College, and at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, completed residencies in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology, serving as Chief Resident.
Dr. Moser’s positions included Medical Director of Pathology and CMIO at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, NJ, President of Pathology Associates of Delaware Valley, in Princeton, NJ, and Co-Chair of the Laboratory Services Council for Trinity Health. He brought life-saving plasmapheresis services to Mercer County. Dr. Moser was a dedicated physician, twice receiving the Spirit of St. Francis Award. Dr. Moser had devoted himself to the religious education (RCIA) of those joining the Roman Catholic Church.
Dr. Moser enjoyed audio books, American Standards music, golf, nature, and gardening. He took great joy in his Sicilian villa with vineyard, olive grove, gardens, and a fountain which he restored, beach walks on the Mediterranean collecting shells, and hosting family vacations.
Family, friends, and co-workers will profoundly miss his intelligence, humility, and friendliness. Dr. Moser leaves a legacy of enduring kindness and generosity.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 29 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Paul Parish, 214 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ.
Visit TheKimbleFuneralHome.com for full obituary.