Rita Ricardo-Campbell passed away in March of 2016. An economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Ricardo-Campbell specialized in the health care sector and the economic and political problems of the Social Security system. Ricardo-Campbell was for twelve years a director of the Gillette Company, for twenty-one years a director of the Watkins Johnson Company, and until recently a director of the Samaritan Medical Management Group.
Her book Resisting Hostile Takeovers: The Case of Gillette was published by Greenwood Publishing Company in late 1997.
She lectured abroad and has given testimony before Senate and House committees. In 1990 she chaired a chief executive roundtable in New York City on containing health care costs and spoke at the World Congress on Health Economics in Zurich.
In recent years Ricardo-Campbell has written extensively on health policy and Social Security. Her critically acclaimed book The Economics and Politics of Health was published in 1982 by the University of North Carolina; a second edition appeared in paperback in 1985. In 2004, she was a guest lecturer at National Taiwan University and the Chinese Culture University in Taipei. Also in 2004, her recent remarks at Harvard Business School were published in Consumer-Driven Health Care (ed. R. E. Herzlinger), a title that succinctly represents a concept that she had pioneered.
From 1992 to 1994 she was vice president of the Mont Pelerin Society; she was a director of that organization from 1988 to 1994. During 1981–89 she was a member of the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board; in 1982–88, a member of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and in 1988, reappointed in 1991, a member of the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science. In 1974–75 she was a member of the Advisory Council on Social Security, which completed an exhaustive review of that program, and subsequently wrote the book Social Security: Promise and Reality.
Her book Issues in Contemporary Retirement, coedited with Edward Lazear, was published in 1988 by the Hoover Institution Press. Also in 1988, she wrote "Aging: Social Security and Medicare," which appears in Thinking about America: The United States in the 1990s (Hoover Institution Press).
She coedited, with Kingsley Davis and Mikhail S. Bernstam, Below-Replacement Fertility in Industrial Societies, which was published in 1987 by the Cambridge University Press and contains her much-quoted chapter "U.S. Social Security under Low Fertility." In 1985 she wrote Women and Comparable Worth and in 1984, a chapter, "Social Security Reform: A Mature System in an Aging Society," that appeared in To Promote Prosperity: U.S. Domestic Policy in the Mid-1980s (Hoover Institution Press). Her other writings, Drug Lag: Federal Government Decision Making and Food Safety Regulation, continue to be of policy interest. With Glenn Campbell, she coauthored Economics of Mobilization and War.
From 1967 through 1975, she was a California commissioner of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education; she was chairman in 1970–71. She held teaching posts at Harvard and Tufts Universities before serving as an economist on the Wage Stabilization Board in Washington DC, and subsequently as an economist for the House Ways and Means Committee.
Ricardo-Campbell's biography has been included in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in California, and Who's Who of American Women for more than twenty years.
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Ricardo-Campbell received a bachelor of science degree from Simmons College and master's and PhD degrees from Harvard University.
Her research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.