Sharon M. Oster
BornSeptember 3, 1948
DiedJune 10, 2022(2022-06-10) (aged 73)
Alma materHofstra College
Harvard University
(m. 1977)
Children3, including Emily
AwardsHonorary Doctor of Letters, Hofstra University, 2001
Carolyn Shaw Bell Award, 2011
Scientific career
InstitutionsYale University

Sharon Monica Oster (September 3, 1948 – June 10, 2022) was an American economist. She was the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor Emerita of Management and Entrepreneurship and the dean of Yale School of Management, where she was the first woman to receive tenure, and the first female dean.[1][2] She was widely known as an economist focusing on business strategy and non-profit organization management.[3]

Early life and education

Oster was born in 1948 at Bethpage, New York.[4] She received her undergraduate degree from Hofstra University in 1970 and her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1974.


Oster spent her 43-year professional career as a professor and administrator at Yale University. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1974, Oster joined the faculty of the Yale Economics Department, where she primarily taught undergraduates at Yale College.[5] In 1982, she moved to the faculty of the Yale School of Management, where she earned tenure in 1983, as the first woman to do so, and in 1992 was named as the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship. From 2008 to 2011, Oster served as dean of the Yale School of Management, becoming its first female dean. In May 2018, she retired from the Yale School of Management faculty.[6][1][2]

Oster took a $100,000 pay cut from her yearly salary as the dean of the Yale School of Management in 2009 to fund internships for students.[7] The Sharon Oster Professorship, an endowed chair in economics, was announced in 2018.[8]

Oster wrote, co-wrote, or edited five academic books, including Modern Competitive Analysis (1990. revised 1993 and 1999) and Strategic Management of Nonprofits (1995). She also published over 40 academic articles on topics including regulatory issues, applied industrial organization, and labor economics, as well as several non-academic articles.[6]

Board memberships

Oster served as the independent director of Welltower Inc, a real estate investment trust that invests mostly in healthcare infrastructure.[9] She also served on corporate boards including Aristotle Corporation, Transpro Inc., and Bentall Kennedy, as well as nonprofit boards, including Choate-Rosemary Hall and Yale University Press.[6]

Awards and recognition

She received the first Yale School of Management Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988 and received this award again in 2008[2] and 2013.[1] She was the 2011 winner of the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the American Economic Association.[2] In 2018, she was recognized by the Academy of Management with the 2018 Irwin Outstanding Educator Award for Excellence in MBA/Executive Education.[10]

Personal life and death

In 1977, Oster married Ray C. Fair, also a professor of economics at Yale. They had three children, two sons and a daughter, Emily.[11]

She died of lung cancer at her home in New Haven, Connecticut, on June 10, 2022, aged 73.[12]

Selected publications


  1. ^ a b c Guzman, Karen (November 28, 2017). "Professor Sharon M. Oster". Yale School of Management. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "SHARON OSTER RECIPIENT OF THE 2011 CAROLYN SHAW BELL AWARD". American Economic Association. Retrieved Dec 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "Ten Questions - Sharon Oster". Financial Times. January 24, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Roberts, Sam (June 14, 2022). "Sharon Oster, Barrier-Breaking Economist, Dies at 73". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  5. ^ "Professor Sharon M. Oster".
  6. ^ a b c "Saharon Oster C.V." (PDF). Yale School of Management. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  7. ^ Lassila, Kathrin. "From the editor: SOM dean takes a pay cut". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Yale SOM Names Professorship for Prof. Sharon Oster". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  9. ^ "Board of Directors". Welltower. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "Prof. Sharon Oster Recognized as 'Outstanding Educator'". Yale School of Management. April 26, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  11. ^ "Brain child". Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  12. ^ "Sharon Oster, 1948-2022". Retrieved June 13, 2022.