Clopper Almon

Professor Emeritus

Clopper Almon, Professor, received his PhD from Harvard University in 1962. He taught at Harvard until 1966, when he joined the faculty at Maryland. His major research interests have been in multisectoral macroeconomic modeling. In 1967 he founded INFORUM and was its director until retirement in 2003. He served on the Executive Committee of NBER's Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, was the Coordinator for Econometric Modeling, US-USSR Exchange Program on Science and Technology, and worked at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. He has also been active in modeling the economy of the state of Maryland. He was the principal investigator of a much-used project on the effects of NAFTA.

Over the course of 37 years in the Department, he was the principal advisor of 44 PhD dissertations, most of which are now on-line on the Inforum website. Economics work in Italy led to the creation of a winter-term study-abroad course in Italy, which he led for ten years, until age 76.

Publications include: Matrix Methods in Economics, (Addison-Wesley, 1967); The American Economy to 1975, (Harper & Rowe, 1967); 1985: Interindustry Forecasts of the American Economy, (D. C. Heath, 1974); "The INFORUM Approach to Integrated Modeling," (Economics Systems Research, 1991); "Simulation of a Mexico-USA Free Trade Agreement" (with A. Ruiz-Moncayo and L. Sangines), (Economic Systems Research, 1991), and The Craft of Economic Modeling, Ginn Press, 1988. The Craft has been kept up-to-date on the Inforum website; and Chinese, Japanese, and Russian translations published. The 642-page Russian translation, published by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2012 is the most complete printed version to date.

Since retirement in 2003, his work in economics has been primarily in other countries, especially Russia, where he speaks the language. He twice taught a short course economic modeling at the University of Lodz in Poland, where he was made amicus universitatis, highest honor awarded by the university. Work on a model of China led to an interest in the language and in the problem of how to look up characters in a dictionary. He developed a new, much faster system, called radicodes, and in collaboration with Jean Lonard published in 2014 The Quick Guide to Chinese Characters with the most frequent 7000 characters and their meanings arranged in order by this system. The study-abroad course in Italy led to renewal of acquaintance with University of Maryland professor of history emerita Wilhelmina Jashemski and to assisting her in preparing for publication her book, Wildflowers Amid the Ruins, now published by Gli Amici di Pompei. For her forthcoming collaborative work, The Gardens of the Roman Empire, he translated from French one chapter and the descriptions in the catalog of Roman gardens in Gaul, nearly all of which he visited and wrote introductions - too much fun to be called work. He also visited and wrote the catalog entries for the Roman gardens in Spain and Portugal - even more fun. He is now (2014) working on an edition of Professor Jashemski's memoirs illustrated with a selection from the more than 18,000 color slides made by her husband, Stanley Jashemski. Almon had been a friend of Maryland history professor Karl Stowasser, who worked for 20 years on an annotated translation of a classic of the history and topography of medieval Egypt, Maqrizi's al-Khitat. At Stowasser's death, the book was unpublished, at least partly because of typographical problems with special characters used in proper transcription of Arabic. Taking advantage of Unicode and modern print-on-demand publishing, Almon brought out in 2014 volume 1 of this 3-volume work. It has been enthusiastically received in the Arabic history community. Production of volumes 2 and 3 lies ahead. Since retirement, he has edited and contributed to three volumes on the local history of Beersheba Springs, Tennessee and one on the German-speaking Swiss colony at nearby Gruetli, all available on amazon.com. This work led to editing the previously unpublished memoirs of his great-grandfather. That, in turn, led to discovery of the Mercedes Murray Genealogies which he has now expanded and published.

An interest in genealogy is a common affliction of the elderly, and Almon seems to have fallen victim to it. He also keeps his hand in as a computer programmer. The G7 regression and model-building program - the cornerstone of the Inforum model-building software used around the world - is written in C++ but with the aid of a proprietary program produced by a now defunct company. Worse still, G7 works only under Windows. Almon is rewriting it under Linux with free, open-source, cross-platform tools that are kept up-to-date. Every step is being carefully explained in a sequence of tutorials. The basics are functioning in 2014, but many features remain to be added.

  • Almon
1105A Morrill Hall
Department of Economics
Phone: (301) 405-4604
Email: almon@econ.umd.edu