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Edited by Ross B. Emmett
Chapter 9: H. Gregg Lewis
Jeff E. Biddle Harold Gregg Lewis (1914–92) was born in Homer, Michigan. He received both his AB and PhD degrees in economics from the University of Chicago, the former in 1936 and the latter in 1947. Lewis’s abilities as an economist were recognized while he was an undergraduate, as he was permitted (along with Paul Samuelson and Herbert Simon) to enroll in graduate courses. Later in life, he mentioned Jacob Viner, Frank Knight, and Henry Simons as influential teachers. As a graduate student he served as a research assistant to both Henry Schultz and Paul Douglas, and worked with T.O. Yntema doing statistical research for US Steel.1 Lewis joined the Chicago faculty in 1939. The death of Henry Schultz in the previous year had left several departmental courses without a teacher, including advanced statistics. The department was divided over the question of a successor to Schultz, and Lewis, who had distinguished himself in Yntema’s statistics class and in his work for Schultz, emerged as a compromise candidate who could satisfy both Paul Douglas and Henry Simons. He remained on the faculty for over 35 years, retiring in 1975 to accept a position at Duke University. As Bruce Kaufman notes in his contribution to this volume (ch. 9), Lewis was one of the pioneers in the movement that reoriented the field of labor economics in the last third of the twentieth century. At the time Lewis was starting his career, ‘labor economics’ involved the study of a wide range of...
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