Testimony by Jean-Jacques Herings



Tilburg University

It is with great sadness that I heard the news of Jacques Drèze passing away. I have known Jacques for such a long time and it is almost impossible to comprehend that he is no longer among us. The first time I met him was in December 1992, when Jacques was teaching a class for Dutch PhD-students in the Hague, more than thirty years ago. I could not suspect at that time that this was only the beginning of a long-lasting collaboration, which resulted in three joint papers and, more importantly, in a life-long friendship. We had numerous discussions on research in his office, while he was smoking his characteristic pipe. Back home, I could smell the tobacco odor attached to our joint work for several more weeks to come. We had many conversations about research, academic life, politics, and our daily lives during many joint lunches and dinners. I had the privilege of being one of this three discussants in 2016, when Jacques gave a two-days lecture as part of the CORE Lecture Series. But the most impressive moment was in 2005, when Jacques supported me in dealing with the loss of both my parents at an early age. Together with Vincent Vannetelbosch, he completely surprised me by coming to the church service in my home village that took place six weeks after the burial. I feel very privileged to have been able to collaborate for such a long time with a human and academic giant. My heartfelt condolences go to his wife Monique and his family.

Jean-Jacques Herings