After a brief return to the USA during which Edith completed The Theory of the Growth of the Firm, in 1957 she and Penrose took up positions at the University College of Arts and Sciences of Baghdad, in Iraq, where they taught for two years, establishing the Economics Department. This experience triggered Edith’s lifelong interest in the Middle East, the oil industry, and the international firm. She grasped the opportunity of researching the international oil companies, convinced few economists had done this satisfactorily. She also demonstrated the commitment to her students which she was always to show, believing she had a responsibility to mentor them as, in her view, trained economists were as essential to the development of the state as doctors, agriculturalists, or engineers. E. F. Penrose studied the dynamic politics of Iraq, including the revolution of 1958. On leaving Iraq, Edith drove to Cambridge for an interview.
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