SELIGMAN, EDWIN ROBERT ANDERSON (1861–1939), U.S. economist. A member of the seligman banking family of New York, Seligman began teaching at Columbia in 1885 and held the post of professor of political economy and finance from 1888 to 1931, when he became professor emeritus in residence. His wide-ranging interests and his sense of social responsibility involved him in many academic, public, and civic organizations and institutions. He was instrumental in forming the American Economic Society and served as its president, 1902–04. He also served a term as president of the National Tax Association, and the American Association of University Professors, and chaired its committee which in 1915 published the fundamental report on academic freedom. In his special field, public finance, he was a consultant member of numerous public committees, at the city, state, and federal   levels, as well as in international organizations. In 1932, while lecturing at Havana University, he undertook, at the request of President Gerardo Machado, the reorganization of Cuba's fiscal system. His writings on taxation were influential since many of the innovations he advocated were adopted, and the terminology he originated passed into common use. He published 15 works on taxation and economics generally, including The Economic Interpretation of History (1902), a significant contribution to the development of the subject; Principles of Economics (1905); The Economics of Farm Relief (1929); and Price Cutting and Price Maintenance (1932). His wide range of interests enabled him to become the chief promoter and editor in chief of the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences (15 vols., 1930–35), to which he also contributed articles and biographies. He was also editor of the Columbia Series in History, Economics, and Public Law, and the Political Science Quarterly. A bibliography of his writings was published in 1931 by Columbia University; his correspondence was published by Joseph Dorfman in 1941, and a collection of memorial addresses in 1942. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Family Register of the Descendants of David Seligman (1913); L. Herz, Die vierteltausendjaehrige Geschichte der Familie Seligman, 16801930 (1935), includes bibliography; L. Wells, The Seligman Story (Ms., 3 vols., 1931); G.T. Hellman, in: New Yorker Magazine, 30 (Oct. 30, 1954), 34–40. (Joachim O. Ronall)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Seligman, Edwin Robert Anderson — ▪ American economist born April 25, 1861, New York, N.Y., U.S. died July 8, 1939, Lake Placid, N.Y.       American economist and educator, an expert on taxation.       Seligman was the son of a New York banker and had the distinction of being… …   Universalium

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