Douglass C North, an American economist who was a co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in economic sciences, has died.
He was 95.
Speaking on behalf of North's family, Washington University in St Louis said he died Monday at his summer home in Benzonia, Michigan. A cause of death was not released.
North and Robert Fogel of the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize for research that applied economic theory and quantitative methods to explain economic and institutional change.
The university said North spent much of his 60-year academic career pondering a simple question: Why do some countries become rich and others remain poor?
Chancellor Mark S Wrighton called North, "the very best of what we all aspire to be a thoughtful man, a kind colleague, a generous university citizen."
North was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and earned undergraduate and doctorate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley.
He spent 33 years at the University of Washington in Seattle before coming to Washington University in St Louis in 1983. North also authored or co-authored 10 books and remained active in teaching and research until his health began to fail in recent years.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Elisabeth, along with three sons and four grandchildren. A memorial service will be scheduled later, Washington University officials said.