ABRAMOVITZ, MOSES


ABRAMOVITZ, MOSES
ABRAMOVITZ, MOSES (1912–2000), U.S. economist. Born in New York City, he was an instructor at Harvard (1936–38) and from 1938 to 1940 a member of the staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 1940 he began teaching at Columbia but interrupted his work during World War II to serve as the principal economist of the War Production Board and the Office of Strategic Services. He spent the final year of the war as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and with the close of the conflict was appointed economic adviser to the U.S. representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations. In 1946 he resumed his teaching at Columbia but left in 1948 for Stanford University. He taught at Stanford for almost 30 years, taking leave only during 1962–63 to work as economic adviser to the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. He served as chair from 1963 to 1965 and from 1971 to 1974. During his tenure at Stanford and after his retirement, he gained international admiration and renown for his fundamental insights and pioneering contributions to the study of long-term economic growth. His main fields of interest were economic history and development and business cycles. Abramovitz served as president of the American Economic Association (1979–80), the Western Economic Association (1988–89), and the Economic History Association (1992–93). His publications include An Approach to a Price Theory for a Changing Economy (1939); Inventories and Business Cycles (1950); with Vera Eliasberg, The Growth of Public Employment in Great Britain (1957); Evidences of Long Swings in Aggregate Construction since the Civil War (1964); and Thinking About Growth and Other Essays (1989). Abramovitz's article "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind" (1986) is one of the most frequently cited papers ever published by the Journal of Economic History. (Joachim O. Ronall / Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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