Ruth White Gussman, 59, a government energy market economist since 1970, died Sunday in a two-car collision near Dublin, Ireland, according to a spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Dublin.

She and her husband, George Gussman, who was injured in the accident, had attended courses at Oxford University as part of a program sponsored by the Smithsonian Institutiion. They were touring Ireland before returning here.

Mrs. Gussman began her government career during World War ii when she worked for the Lend-Lease Administration and the War Production Board.

After the war she retired to rear a family. She had been active in the League of Women Voters, was on the women's committee of the National Symphony Sustaining Fund, and served as chairman of the Montgomery County Advisory Committee on sex Education in the schools during the late 1960s.

In 1970s Mrs. Gussman resumed her government career as an economist with the old Atomic Energy Commission, later working for the Energy Research and Development Administration and finally the Department of Energy.

She was an economist in the office of utilities systems of DOE's Economic Regulatory Administration and was an authority in the field of market forecasting, predicting what would happen in the volatile electric utility industry.

Mrs. Gussman was reared in Brookline, Mass., and came to Washington in 1936 to attend George Washington University where she earned a bachelor's degree.

In addition to her husband, of the home in Silver Spring, she is survived by a daughter, Margaret Freiberg, of Cranbury, N.J.; a son, John, of Berkeley, Calif.; her mother, Bessie White, of Takoma Park; a brother, William H., of Bethesda, and two grandchildren.