The Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics
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The Elgar Companion to the Chicago School of Economics

Edited by Ross B. Emmett

Many know the Chicago School of Economics and its association with Milton Friedman, George Stigler, Ronald Coase and Gary Becker. But few know the School’s history and the full scope of its scholarship. In this Companion, leading scholars examine its history and key figures, as well as provide surveys of the School’s contributions to central aspects of economics, including: price theory, monetary theory, labor and economic history. The volume examines the School’s traditions of applied welfare theory and law and economics while providing a glimpse into emerging research on Chicago’s role in the development of neoliberalism.
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Chapter 9: H. Gregg Lewis

Jeff E. Biddle


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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