Chapter 9: Wassily Leontief
Perhaps no other economist who was interviewed for this book made their reputation by specializing in one topic to the extent that Wassily Leontief did. He was one of the first economists to critique Keynes’s General Theory and is also considered the father of input-output analysis. The first attempt at an empirical implementation of input-output analysis began with the publication of his book The Structure o the US Economy 1919-1939. He continued to f focus his career on developing and refining this analytical tool. Its influence was worldwide and it was used as a device for central economic planning. His work earned him many honors including the French Legion of Honor in 1968, the Presidency of the American Economic Association in 1970, and the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1973, among others. In beginning the search for the leading economists who lived through the Great Depression, Leontief was first on my list, being born in 1905. The interview took place in September 1997 at his home in New York overlooking Washington Square and New York University, where he spent the latter part of his career. When the interview was over, he had to excuse himself so that he could grab a quick lunch in time to make a 2 p.m. lecture he was giving on input-output analysis at the age of 9 1. He passed away in February 1999. Can you give me some biographical information about when and where you were born and what you were doing during the...
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