Vincent J. Tarascio papers, 1967-2020

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Tarascio, Vincent J.
Vincent Tarascio (1930-2020) was a professor emeritus of economics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This collection documents his professional life through his writings and professional and faculty activities. It was acquired as part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
1 Linear Foot (One record carton and one oversize folder.)
Material in English.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The most common types of material are handwritten and typed manuscripts, reprints and offprints, and correspondence. There is a program from the first meeting of the History of Economics Society in Chapel Hill, a syllabus for a course on the history of economic thought, and a bound copy of Tarascio's first book. The oversize folder contains eleven reproductions of portraits of mostly 19th century economists.

The main subject is the history of economic thought, with a focus on neoclassical economics and Vilfredo Pareto. There are also files with correspondence on the Southern Economic Association and the Southern Economic Journal.

Biographical / historical:

Vincent Joseph Tarascio (1930-2020) was a white American academic economist who was born in Hartford, Connecticut. His parents were both Italian immigrants from Sicily, and he grew up in poverty during the Great Depression. Following his older siblings, he dropped out of high school at age 17 and joined the US Army, where his high scores earned him a place in the Office of the Adjutant General at the Department of Defense. This experience led him to finish high school and obtain a two-year Associate of Science degree from the University of Hartford using his G.I. Bill benefits.

Tarascio subsequently worked for different insurance companies during the 1950s, but found this life intellectually lacking. He worked nights to pay for an undergraduate education at San Jose State University, and after graduating in 1961, he was accepted into the graduate economics program at Rice University. He entered into what become a long-standing relationship with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1964, when he was hired as a lecturer two years before completing his PhD. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1966, associate professor in 1969, and full professor in 1972.

Tarascio focused his research on the history of European economic thought and neoclassical economics, as well as economic methodology. He was a scholar of Vilfredo Pareto, and Tarascio's first book--on Pareto's methodology--was born out of his PhD dissertation. He was a founding member of the History of Economics Society, organizing its first formal meeting in 1974 at UNC and serving as its first president (1974-1975) and as a member of the editorial advisory board of the History of Political Economy. He was also involved with the Southern Economic Association, serving on its board and as managing editor of the Southern Economic Journal (1969-1997).

Tarascio retired from UNC as emeritus professor in 2001, but continued to actively research and to participate in professional organizations. He was married to Linda Scott Tarascio, who served as production editor of the Southern Economic Journal, and with whom he had four children (Linda A., Mark, Eugene, and Anthony). He died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Caldwell, Bruce. "Vincent J. Tarascio: In Memoriam (1930–2020)." Southern Economic Journal 87, no. 3 (2021): 749-752.

Tarascio, Vincent J. "An Intellectual Autobiography." Journal of the History of Economic Thought 21, no. 1 (1999): 53-63.

Acquisition information:
The Vincent J. Tarascio papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as gifts from Linda Scott Tarascio in 2020.
Processing information:

Processed by Vincent Carret, April 2022.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2022-0062 and 2022-0072.


The Vincent J. Tarascio papers are arranged alphabetically by title.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Vincent J. Tarascio papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.