Edited by Robert W. Dimand, Mary Ann Dimand and Evelyn L. Forget
Irini (Rena) Zafiriou
Irini (Rena) Zaﬁriou (b. 1912) Rena Zaﬁriou was born in 1912 in London. She entered the University of Athens in 1930 and took her ﬁrst degree in Politics and Economics in 1934 and the degree in Law one year later. She worked in the Ministry of Finance as a civil servant for two years (1937–39). Zaﬁriou participated in the competition for a ‘Damereion’ scholarship for postgraduate studies in economics and was the ﬁrst woman to win the prize. She resigned her position in the Ministry of Finance and registered at the London School of Economics in October 1939. Through the intervention of her supervisor Lionel Robbins and because of the quality of her papers during her ﬁrst year of study she registered for the Ph.D. degree. After the outbreak of the Second World War the LSE was evacuated to Cambridge. Most of the courses and seminars attended by Zaﬁriou were given by the Cambridge faculty. She heard Keynes’s lectures and became a Keynesian. This proved to be a problem as after 1940 Robbins went to work for the government in London and F.A. von Hayek became Zaﬁriou’s new supervisor. She disagreed with him on almost every issue and after various delays she received her Ph.D. in July 1945. Her external examiner was P. Rosenstein Rodan. Zaﬁriou is the ﬁrst Greek woman economist to receive a Ph.D. in economics. When the Greek government in exile arrived in London the Greek embassy contacted Greek students...
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