Anstey was born Vera Powell in 1889. She died in London on 26 November 1976. She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and Bedford College, London and then the London School of Economics. She graduated from the latter with first-class honours in economic history in 1913. She married a fellow student, Percy Anstey, in the same year, and in 1914 the couple moved to Bombay. Vera Anstey returned to England after her husband's death in 1920, and joined the faculty of the LSE as an assistant in 1921. She remained there until her retirement in 1964, becoming successively lecturer in commerce (1929), Sir Ernest Cassel Reader in Commerce (1941), and then a part-time member of the academic staff (1954). She served as dean of the Faculty of Economics from 1950 to 1954, and as a member of the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income from 1950 to 1955.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.