Perry Day Quick, 61; Economist In Carter, Reagan Administrations

By Patricia Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 5, 2007

Perry Day Quick, 61, a senior staff economist for the Council of Economic Advisers during the Carter and Reagan administrations, died of colorectal cancer May 1 at his home in Washington.

Dr. Quick also worked as a senior economist for the Federal Reserve Board and helped shape Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart's economic policy for his campaign. He served on the Democratic Leadership Council.

Asked how he could serve such different administrations as those of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, Dr. Quick said Democrats and Republicans generally treated sound economic advice the same way: by ignoring it.

He was a doctoral student in economics at Stanford University in 1973 when he took a leave to serve as the first economist in the Federal Energy Administration's Office of Energy Conservation. His analysis helped policymakers separate the energy consumption impact of government programs from the effects of the three-fold rise in oil prices.

Two years later, he became a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Board, where his analysis supported major monetary policy actions through the last half of the 1970s. He also acted as a speechwriter for Fed chairmen Arthur Burns, G. William Miller and Paul Volcker.

His six months of work with Hart began in 1981 when the Colorado Democrat outlined his philosophy over breakfast in the Russell Senate Office Building, in a two-page memo written in block letters.

"He was setting up the neo-liberal program right there," Dr. Quick once said. "Under new approaches, he listed the consumption tax, a tax imposed only on the income people spent, designed to encourage savings, and a tax on industries that allowed prices or wages to exceed an established maximum, I guess because those were the things he knew about at the time. And he said to me, 'Do for the economy what we've already done for the military. Take all this, put some economic theory behind it and give me a plan that is workable.' "

He moved on to the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies, where he worked until 1985, when he established an economic consulting firm, Quick, Finan and Associates. Five years later, it was bought out by Ernst & Young, and Dr. Quick became a partner, building the firm's Economic Consulting and Quantitative Analysis Group to more than 200 economists, econometricians, statisticians and financial analysts. He also was publisher of the firm's Business Economic Update.

Dr. Quick joined CRA International in 2002 as a vice president, managing the Washington office, and served as an expert witness in court cases.

Dr. Quick was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from Cornell University, and he received a master's degree in business in 1972 and a doctoral degree in economics in 1980, both from Stanford.

He was a member of numerous professional associations and the Cosmos Club. He was a member of the boards of the National Economists Club, Children's House of Washington and the Frederick B. Abramson Memorial Foundation.

His marriages to Suzanne Kay Quick and Pamela Johnson ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of two years, Linda Donaldson of Washington; two children from his second marriage, Elliot and Abby Quick, both of Washington; a stepdaughter from his last marriage, Katie Flegal of San Clemente, Calif.; his mother, Barbara Marshall of Venice, Fla.; and a brother, Tim Quick of Bethesda.

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