Anne D. Williams

Professor Emerita of Economics



31 Frye Street, Room 203a


Anne Williams’ career includes work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India, and as an economics researcher at the World Bank, the Brookings Institution, and the Federal Reserve Board.  After completing her doctorate she taught at the University of Pennsylvania and served on Capitol Hill as a Research Director for the House Select Committee on Population.

She came to Bates as Department Chair in 1981.  Here she taught Population Economics, Health Economics, Economic Policy Debates, Economy and Society in the Great Depression, as well as Intermediate Microeconomic Theory, Statistics and other core courses.  She became a Professor Emerita upon her retirement in 2008.

Her early research dealt with determinants of fertility in the United States.  She served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Population 1983-86.  She currently is studying the history of the American toy and puzzle industry.  She has curated major exhibitions of jigsaw puzzles at the Bates College Museum of Art (1988), the National Heritage Museum (Lexington, Mass. 1996), and the Katonah Museum of Art (Katonah, N.Y., 2000-01).  She is listed in Who’s Who in Economicsand has served on the National Toy Hall of Fame Selection Committee since 2014.

She has appeared as a jigsaw puzzle expert on PBS’s History DetectivesMartha Stewart Living, BBC Radio 4, and several other broadcasts.  In 2007 the Association for Games and Puzzles International presented her with its Spilsbury Award for lifetime achievement. The bulk of her extensive collection of puzzles is now housed at the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y.

Ph.D. in Economics, University of Chicago
M.A. in Economics, University of Chicago
A.B. in Economics, Smith College

Selected publications:
The Jigsaw Puzzle, Piecing Together a History (2004)