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Simon Kuznets: Cautious Empiricist of the Eastern European Jewish Diaspora

E. Glen Weyl

Microsoft Research New England; University of Chicago

February 11, 2010

Simon Kuznets, Eastern European Jewish immigrant and Nobel laureate, typified data-driven caution of the discipline of empirical economics he helped found. Yet a motive force behind his path-breaking development economics of inequality, culture, institutions, demographics and human capital was a desire to understand his past and people. This connection, hidden in his relationship to mainstream economics, manifests itself in his less-known work on Jewish history and economics. The subtle synergy of Kuznetsā€™s motivation and methodology parallels a broader paradox of how, in the twentieth century, Jews of Eastern European descent transformed one of the most informal and anti-Semitic American sciences.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Simon Kuznets, history and economics of the Jews, history of economic thought, development economics, human capital

JEL Classification: B22, B25, B31

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Date posted: January 8, 2009 ; Last revised: September 5, 2012

Suggested Citation

Weyl, E. Glen, Simon Kuznets: Cautious Empiricist of the Eastern European Jewish Diaspora (February 11, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1324422 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1324422

Contact Information

Eric Glen Weyl (Contact Author)
Microsoft Research New England ( email )
One Memorial Drive, 14th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
(857) 998-4513 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.glenweyl.com
University of Chicago ( email )
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Chicago, IL 60637
United States
(773) 702-4862 (Phone)
(773) 702-8490 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.glenweyl.com
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