Since coming to the OECD from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1984, Norman had made important contributions to the comparative analysis of a wide range of labour market issues of importance to policymakers. In particular, he set new standards of rigour for the collection of comparable labour market data for different countries, conducting path-breaking studies in topic areas as diverse as the school-to-work transition, job stability and employer-provided training.
Norman was a reluctant manager who would have preferred to devote all his working hours to research. Nonetheless, he served very successfully as head of the Employment Analysis and Policy Division in the OECD Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, beginning, in 1994, a job which included being editor of the Employment Outlook, an OECD flagship publication. Norman did much to enhance the OECD’s reputation as a leading authority on employment questions. The 2002 issue of the Employment Outlook will be dedicated to the memory of Norman Bowers.
The family and friends of Norman Bowers have collaborated with the University of Missouri-Columbia, his alma mater, to establish a memorial scholarship fund. Full information about the Norman Bowers Scholarship Fund is available from Paul Swaim (Tel.: +33 (0) 1 45 24 19 77; E-mail: Paul.Swaim@oecd.org).
©OECD Observer No 231/232, May 2002