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Edited by Ross B. Emmett
Chapter 14: Sherwin Rosen
Hao Li Sherwin Rosen (1938–2001) was born in Chicago. His parents, Nell and Joe Rosen, met on a kosher dairy farm in Quebec, Canada. His mother was Canadian, and his father was from Illinois. Along with his uncle, Harry, Sherwin’s father owned a hardware store, where Sherwin spent much of his youth. He was very close to his brother Eddie, who died when both men were only in their thirties. Rosen completed his undergraduate education in engineering at Purdue in 1960. Despite his early exposure to building supplies and his engineering training, he decided to pursue graduate studies in economics at Chicago. It appeared at first that perhaps economics was not a good match; he failed the general core exam, and was advised by Milton Friedman to leave economics, perhaps for accounting. Rosen continued despite this advice, and completed his PhD in 1966 under the supervision of the labor economist Gregg Lewis.1 Rosen began his academic career at the University of Rochester in 1964. He was named Kenan Professor of Economics in 1975. While he certainly was productive at Rochester – he wrote his famous hedonic pricing paper there – he was most at home at Chicago and left Rochester for Chicago in 1977. He became the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in 1983, and served as Department Chairman from 1988 to 1994. Although he did spend summers at the Hoover Institute at Stanford as the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, he turned down numerous offers...
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