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The Nobel Memorial Laureates in Economics

The Nobel Memorial Laureates in Economics

An Introduction to Their Careers and Main Published Works

Howard R. Vane and Chris Mulhearn

Erudite, accessible and lucidly written, this book provides a stimulating introduction to the careers and main published works of the Nobel Memorial Laureates in Economics. It will prove to be an invaluable reference book on key figures in economics and their path-breaking insights. The vignettes should also encourage the reader to sample some of the Laureates’ original works and gain a better understanding of the context in which new ideas were first put forward.


Howard R. Vane and Chris Mulhearn

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought


THE 1993 NOBEL MEMORIAL LAUREATES ROBERT FOGEL AND DOUGLASS NORTH ROBERT FOGEL Robert W. Fogel (b. 1926) © The Nobel Foundation Robert Fogel was born in New York City, USA, in 1926. His parents and elder brother had arrived in America four years earlier from Odessa, on the Black Sea coast of Russia. Fogel remembers that his mother and father had a ‘reverence for learning [that] encouraged both my brother and me toward academic pursuits’ (Nobel Foundation, 2004). Although the Great Depression made times generally hard during his childhood, Fogel suggests that one of its effects was to ‘attract a remarkably talented and dedicated collection of teachers’ into the New York public school system. This stimulating environment prompted him to aspire initially to a career in science. Fogel attended Cornell University where he was awarded a BA in 1948. Although he began studying physics and chemistry at Cornell, he later switched to economics and history. The change was prompted by the spectre of a return to depression after the end of the Second World War. Fogel wanted to ‘find solutions to the current problems of instability and equity’ (Nobel Foundation, 2004). He later enrolled at Columbia University, where he was taught microeconomics by George Stigler (see entry in this volume) and American economic history by Carter Goodrich. Goodrich was undertaking research into government support for the development of transport and on his advice Fogel wrote his master’s thesis on the 208 ROBERT FOGEL Union Pacific Railroad. This work was published...

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