Wassily Leontief and the Discovery of the Input-Output Approach
122 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2016 Last revised: 29 Jan 2017
Date Written: December 19, 2016
The paper is about Wassily Leontief’s path towards the discovery of input-output economics, as reflected in his 1936 and 1937 articles in the Review of Economic Statistics and in the 1941 monograph The Structure of American Economy, 1919-1929. The paper sets out an account of Leontief’s life from his childhood and early youth in St. Petersburg. Then followed study years in St. Petersburg and Berlin, work as research associate at the Institute of World Economics in Kiel, an adventurous trip to China, and a further year in Germany during which circumstances and luck brought him to the United States in 1931 and to Harvard shortly afterwards. The aim has more specifically been to consider and how Leontief’s discovery of an input-output approach was influenced by his earlier studies and research experience and by exchanges with Joseph Schumpeter, Ragnar Frisch, his Kieler colleagues and others.
Keywords: Leontief, input-output
JEL Classification: D57, B31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation