- Wassily Leontief
name = Wassily Wassilyovitch Leontief
caption = W. W. Leontief at Harvard
birth_date = birth date|1905|8|5|mf=y
death_date = death date and age|1999|2|5|1905|8|5|mf=y
New York City, New York, USA
Germany, United States
New York University Harvard University
University of Berlin(Ph.D)
University of Leningrad (M.A.)
Ladislaus Bortkiewicz Werner Sombart
Vernon Smith Robert Solow Paul Samuelson Karen R. Polenske
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences(1973)
Wassily Wassilyovitch Leontief ( _ru. Василий Васильевич Леонтьев;
August 5, 1905, Munich, Germanyndash February 5, 1999, New York), [http://www.iioa.org/images/WL-Birth%20Certificate.gif] was an economistnotable for his research on how changes in one economic sectormay have an effect on other sectors. Leontief won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciencesin 1973.
Wassily Leontief was born on
August 5, 1905in Munich, Germanyas the son of Wassily W. Leontief (professor of Economics) and Zlata (or Genya, later Eugenia) Becker ( [http://www.iioa.org/images/WL-Birth%20Certificate.gifsee original birth certificate here] ). The Nobel Prize website, however, lists [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1973/] his birth year as 1906 and place of birth as St. Petersburg. W. Leontief Sr. belonged to a dynasty of old-believer merchants living in St. Petersburg since 1741. Genya Becker belonged to a wealthy Jewish family from Odessa. At 15, Wassily Jr. entered the University of Leningrad in present day St. Petersburg in 1921. He earned his Learned Economist degree (equivalent to Master of Arts) in 1924 at the age of 19.
Opposition to communism
W. Leontief sided with campaigners for academic autonomy, freedom of speech and in support of
Pitirim Sorokin. As a consequence, he was detained several times by Cheka.
In 1925, he was allowed to leave the
USSR, mostly because Cheka believed that he was mortally ill ( sarcoma). Later the diagnosis appeared to be a medical error. He continued his studies at the University of Berlinand, in 1928, he earned a Ph.D. degree in Economicswith a dissertation on "Circular Flows in Economics".
Early professional life
From 1927 to 1930, he worked at the Institute for the World Economy of the
University of Kiel. There he researched the derivation of statistical demand and supply curves. In 1929, he travelled to Chinato assist the Ministry of Railroadsas an advisor.
In 1931, he went to the
United States, and was employed by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
World War II, Leontief served as consultant at the Office of Strategic Services.
Affiliation with Harvard
Harvard Universityemployed him in its Department of Economics in 1932, and, in 1946, he became a professorof Economics.
Around 1949, Leontief used the primitive computer systems available at the time at Harvard to model data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to divide the U.S. economy into 500 sectors. Leontief modeled each sector with a linear equation based on the data and used the computer, the
Harvard Mark II, to solve the system, one of the first significant uses of computers for mathematical modeling. [Lay, p.1]
Leontief set up the
Harvard Economic Research Projectin 1948 and remained its director until 1973. Starting in 1965, he chaired the Harvard Society of Fellows.
Affiliation with New York University
In 1975, Leontief joined
New York Universityand founded and directed the Institute for Economic Analysis.
In 1932, Leontief married the poet
Estelle Marks. Their only child, Svetlana Leontief Alpers, was born in 1936.
It is known that he enjoyed
fly fishing, ballet, and fine wines. He vacationed for years at his farm in West Burke, Vermont, but after moving to New York in the 1970s Leontief relocated his summer residence to Lakeville, Connecticut.
Leontief died in New York City,
New York, U.S., on Friday, February 5, 1999at the age of 93. His wife died in 2005.
Leontief is primarily associated with the development of the linear activity model of
General equilibriumand the use of input-output analysisthat results from it. He has also made contributions in other areas of economics, such as international trade where he documented the famous Leontief paradox. He was also one of the first to establish the composite commoditytheorem.
Leontief earned the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on input-output tables. Input-output tables analyze the process by which inputs from one industry produce outputs for consumption or for inputs for another industry. With the input-output table, one can estimate the change in demand for inputs resulting from a change in production of the final good. An unrealistic assumption of this analysis is that input proportions are fixed. It is for this reason that the use of input-output analysis is limited to rough approximizations rather than prediction. Input-output was novel and inspired large-scale empirical work. It has been used for economic planning throughout the world, whether in Western, Socialist or Third World countries.
Leontief used input-output analysis to study the characteristics of trade flow between the U.S. and other countries, and found what has been named Leontief's paradox; "this country resorts to foreign trade in order to economize its capital and dispose of its surplus labor, rather than vice versa", i.e., U.S. exports were relatively labor-intensive when compared to U.S. imports. This is the opposite of what one would expect, considering the fact that the U.S.'s comparative advantage was in capital-intensive goods. According to some economists, this paradox has since been explained as due to the fact that when a country produces "more than two goods, the abundance of capital relative to labor does not imply that the capital intensity of its exports should exceed that of imports." There also exists a trend that can be seen in the U.S. that could explain Leontief's paradox, and this is that in the last four decades, money has been becoming more expensive while labor has been becoming cheaper.Fact|date=February 2007
Leontief was also a very strong proponent of the use of quantitative data in the study of economics. Throughout his life Leontief campaigned against "theoretical assumptions and nonobserved facts". According to Leontief, too many economists were reluctant to "get their hands dirty" by working with raw empirical facts. To that end, Wassily Leontief did much to make quantitative data more accessible, and more indispensable, to the study of economics.
* 1941: "Structure of the American Economy, 1919-1929"
* 1953: "Studies in the Structure of the American Economy"
* 1966: "Input-Output Economics"
* 1966: "Essays in Economics"
* 1977: "Essays in Economics, II"
* 1977: "The Future of the World Economy"
* 1983: "Military Spending: Facts and Figures, Worldwide Implications and Future Outlook" co-authed with F. Duchin.
* 1983: "The Future of Non-Fuel Minerals in the U. S. And World Economy" co-authed with J. Koo, S. Nasar and I. Sohn
* 1986: "The Future Impact of Automation on Workers" co-authed with F. Duchin
* 1953: Order of the Cherubim,
University of Pisa
* 1962: Dr honoris causa,
University of Brussels
* 1967: Dr of the University,
University of York
* 1968: Officer of the French Légion d'honneur
* 1970: Bernhard-Harms Prize Economics,
* 1971: Dr honoris causa,
University of Louvain
* 1972: Dr honoris causa,
University of Paris (Sorbonne)
Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, aka Nobel Prizein Economics
* 1976: Dr honoris causa,
University of Pennsylvania
* 1980: Dr honoris causa,
University of Toulouse, France
* 1980: Dr honoris causa,
University of Louisville, Kentucky
* 1980: Doctor of Social Sciences,
University of Vermont
* 1980: Doctor of Laws, C. W. Post Center,
Long Island University
Russian-American Hall of Fame
Karl Marx University, Budapest, Hungary
Order of the Rising Sun, Japan
* 1985: Commandeur,
French Order of Arts and Letters
* 1988: Dr honoris causa,
* 1988: Foreign member, USSR Academy of Sciences
* 1989: Society of the Optimate,
Italian Cultural Institute, New York
* 1990: Dr honoris causa,
University of Cordoba, Spain
* 1991: Takemi Memorial Award,
Institute of Seizon & Life Sciences, Japan
* 1995: Harry Edmonds Award for Life Achievement,
International House, New York
* 1995: Dr honoris causa,
Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
* Award of Excellence, The International Center in New York, New York
Global Development and Environment Instituteat Tufts Universityawards the Leontief Prize for economicseach year in his honor.
* 1954: President of the
* 1968: Corresponding Member of the
Institut de France
* 1970: President of the
American Economic Association
* 1970: Corresponding Fellow of the
US-USSR Commission on the Social Sciences and Humanities of the International Research and Exchanges Board
American Committee on East-West Accord
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincie, Italy
* 1976: President and Section F. of the
British Association for the Advancement of Science
* 1976: Honorary Member of the
Royal Irish Academy
* 1977: Fellow of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Commission to Study the Organization of Peace
* 1978–1986: Board of Trustees of
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Issues Committee of the Progressive Alliance
Committee for National Security
* 1981: Board of Visitors, College of Liberal Arts,
* 1981: Board of Editors,
Journal of Business Strategy
International Advisory Council of the Delian Institute of International Relations
Accademia Mediterranea Delle Scienze, Italy
* 1983: Board of Advisors,
* 1983: Board of Directors,
* 1985: International Committee,
Carnegie Mellon University
Academy of Creative Endeavors, USSR
International Charitable Foundation, Russia
* 1993: Honorary President of the
World Academy for the Progress of Planning Science, Italy
* 1993: Member of the
Academie Universelle des Cultures, France
* 1994: Fellow of the
New York Academy of Sciences
* 1995: Member of the
International Leadership Center on Longevity & Society, Mt. Sinai Hospital
American Philosophical Society
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
International Statistical Institute
* Honorary Member of the
Japan Economic Research Center, Tokyo
* Honorary Fellow of the
Royal Statistical Society, London
* Trustee of Economists for Peace and Security
"We move from more or less plausible but really arbitrary assumptions, to elegantly demonstrated but irrelevant conclusions."
List of economists
*cite book|author=Lay, David C.|title=Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Third Edition|year=2003|publisher=Addison Wesley|id=ISBN 0-201-70970-8
* [http://www.nobel.se/economics/laureates/1973/leontief-autobio.html Autobiography]
* [http://www.biograph.comstar.ru/bank/leontev.htm Information from www.biograph.comstar.ru]
* [http://cepa.newschool.edu/het/profiles/leontief.htm Information from cepa.newschool.edu]
* [http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Leontief.html Information from www.econlib.org]
* [http://www.iioa.org/leontief/Life.html Information from www.iioa.org]
* [http://utip.gov.utexas.edu/jg/archive/1999/leontief.htm Article by James K. Galbraith]
* [http://russcience.euro.ru/interview/kal94os.htm Interview with W.Leontief by S.A.Kalyadina ru icon]
* [http://ideas.repec.org/e/ple40.html IDEAS/RePEc]
NAME= Leontief, Wassily
DATE OF BIRTH=
August 5, 1905
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
February 5, 1999
PLACE OF DEATH= New York
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Wassily Leontief — (* 5. August 1905 in München; † 5. Februar 1999 in New York; ursprünglich russisch Василий Васильевич Леонтьев/ Wassili Wassiljewitsch Leontjew) war ein russischer Wirtschaftswissenschaftler, der 1973 den Preis für… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Wassily Leontief — Wassily Wassilyovitch Leontief 220px Leontief en Harvard Nacimiento 5 de agosto de 1905 San Petersburgo, Rusia … Wikipedia Español
Wassily Leontief — (5 août 1905 5 février 1999) économiste américain, d origine russe et lauréat du « prix Nobel » d économie en 1973. Son nom est associé avec l analyse entrée sortie. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Tableau des entrées sorties … Wikipédia en Français
Wassily Leontief — (1906) es un economista norteamericano, n. en San Petersburgo. Inició sus estudios de economía en las universidades de Leningrado y Moscú y se doctoró en la de Berlín (1928), tras investigar un nuevo método, basado en estudios intersectoriales,… … Enciclopedia Universal
Wassily Leontief — A Nobel Prize winning American economist and professor. Wassily Leontief was born in 1906 in Russia, where he was also raised. He left the country and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Berlin. After a brief stint at the National Bureau of… … Investment dictionary
Wassily Leontief — noun United States economist (born in Russia) who devised an input output method of economic analysis (1906 1999) • Syn: ↑Leontief • Instance Hypernyms: ↑economist, ↑economic expert … Useful english dictionary
Wirtschaftsnobelpreis 1973: Wassily Leontief — Der amerikanische Volkswirtschaftler erhielt den Nobelpreis für »die Entwicklung der Input Output Methode sowie für ihre Anwendung bei wichtigen wirtschaftlichen Problemen«. Biografie Wassily Leontief, * St. Petersburg 5. 8. 1906, ✝ New… … Universal-Lexikon
Leontief — Wassily Leontief (* 5. August 1905 in München; † 5. Februar 1999 in New York; ursprünglich russisch Василий Васильевич Леонтьев/ Wassili Wassiljewitsch Leontjew) war ein russischer Wirtschaftswissenschaftler, der 1973 den Preis für… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Leontief paradox — Leontief s paradox in economics is that the country with the world s highest capital per worker has a lower in exports than in imports.This econometric find was the result of Professor Wassily W. Leontief s attempt to test the Heckscher Ohlin… … Wikipedia
LEONTIEF (W. W.) — LEONTIEF WASSILY W. (1906 ) Né à Saint Pétersbourg, Wassily Leontief étudie dans cette ville l’économie de 1921 à 1925. Il participe activement, à la même époque, dans l’équipe rassemblée autour de Preobrajenski, à l’élaboration des premiers… … Encyclopédie Universelle