Published : Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | 12:18 PM
Davis, whose research focused on the economic history of financial markets and institutional and technological change, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in 1950 and, after serving in the Navy during the Korean War, earned his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1956. He came to Caltech from Purdue University in 1968 and was a professor of economics until 1980, when he was named Harkness Professor. He retired in 2005.
Davis, who was instrumental in the development of the social science program at Caltech, was the executive officer for the social sciences from 1982 to 1985. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.