Tribute to Ralph M. Braid, 1953-2020
The Wayne State University community lost a valuable colleague with the passing of Ralph M. Braid on September 20, 2020 at the age of 66. Professor Braid received an A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1975 and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979. He served on the faculty of Columbia University before joining the Wayne State Department of Economics in 1988. He was promoted to the rank of professor in 1993.
Professor Braid was a productive and meticulous researcher in the field of urban and regional economics, specializing in the use of models of spatial competition. He used these models to study competition between firms as well as competition between tax jurisdictions. He also examined the effects of firm and household locations on tax policy.
He published numerous articles in high quality economics journals including the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of Urban Economics. In addition, he served as an associate editor of the Journal of Regional Science and Regional Science and Urban Economics and was on the editorial boards of the American Economic Review and the Journal of Urban Economics.
Professor Braid was a meticulous, organized, and caring instructor, receiving consistently high praise from his students and the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992. He served on numerous department, college and university committees.
As a colleague, he was the one who could be relied on to collect needed facts and data about items such as journal impact factors, Google citation statistics, and characteristics of different parts of the Detroit metropolitan area. He would also be the one to double check the accuracy of someone else's information. Professor Braid was well known for providing maps to faculty job candidates visiting the department.
An avid runner, he competed three times in the Boston Marathon with a best time of 2:36:24. He was also interested in photography and astronomy.
He is survived by former wife Ann Braid of Farmington Hills, Michigan, daughter Julia Braid of Burbank, California, and brother Donald Braid of Indianapolis, Indiana.