John V. Lintner Jr., Gand Professor of Economics and Business Administration. died on June 8. in an automobile accident in Cambridge. Lintner, who was 67, was widely known in the financial and academic communities for his major contribution to the capital asset pricing model, a method of estimating the future value of an investment.
The model, developed in the 1950s and 1960s has become the basis for modern portfolio theory. Lintner's theories, although not used in actual practice by Wall St. investment firms, had a "tremendous impact on people's thinking," said Robert Diefenbach, executive vice president of U.S. & Foreign Securities Co.
"John Lintner's models and theories allowed institutional investors to factor elements of risk into their calculations," explained A. Michael Spence, chairman of the Economics Department. "And ever since then, when people in finance talk about investment, they use his concept and ideas."
Throughout his career, Lintner worked to broaden the applications of his capital market theory research. His most recent work, for example, examined the consequences when investors do not act in their best interest or are not able to make certain types of investments. His last published work analyzed how well the capital asset pricing model fit the real world.
Besides doing research, Lintner was instrumental in guiding the University's joint Ph.D. program in economics and business which he directed for 15 years. In addition, he served as a consultant the Secretary of the Treasury in both Democratic and Republican administrations.
Lintner was also recognized at Harvard as a devoted teacher. He "was always enthusiastic about other people's achievements, both of students and colleagues," Spence said.
Lintner's family has requested that instead of sending flowers, friends should contribute to the Summer field Fund at the University of Kansas, which had awarded him a merit scholarship which enabled him to attend the school.
A memorial service was held on June 15 in Memorial Church after private funeral services. Lintner is survived by his second wife Eleanor, two children. John H. Lintner and Nancy Chase Molvig, and his stepson, Allan Hodges.