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 12: Albert Rees

Orley Ashenfelter and John Pencavel


Orley Ashenfelter and John Pencavel Albert Rees (1921–92) was born in New York City and earned his BA degree at Oberlin College in 1943. His MA degree at the University of Chicago was followed by his appointment as an assistant professor in the Economics Department at Chicago. His PhD was awarded at Chicago in 1950. He remained at Chicago until 1966 when he assumed a position as Professor of Economics at Princeton University. His Princeton appointment lasted until 1979 (having been Provost between 1975 and 1977). During his tenure at Princeton, he spent several years in Washington, DC, involved in administrative efforts to restrain wage and price inflation. He served as President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation from 1979 to 1989. Rees’s scholarship centered on labor economics and his contributions ranged from theoretical modeling to resourceful empirical research to the careful construction of original data. The public policy ramifications of this work were never far from his research. He was a very conscientious and courteous adviser of many students. Teaching was important to him and in the 1970s he authored the major textbook at that time in labor economics (Rees 1973). His gracious manner made him a popular teacher and colleague. He served as editor of the Journal of Political Economy for a number of years. A persistent social issue for Rees – as it was for many economists of his generation – concerned the effects and appropriate public policy role of labor unions. His years as an undergraduate and...

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