Oskar Morgenstern

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Morgenstern, Oskar


Born Jan. 24, 1902, in Goerlitz, Germany. American economist.

Morgenstern was educated in universities in Western Europe and the USA. From 1929 to 1938 he taught economic theory and statistics at the University of Vienna. From 1931 to 1938 he was director of the Austrian Institute of Business Cycle Research. Since 1938 he has taught political economy and directed a program in econometric research at Princeton University.

Accepting the basic hypotheses of bourgeois political economy, Morgenstern has devoted his greatest attention to the refinement and further development of modes and methods of statistical and mathematical analysis of economic problems. He is the author of a number of works on economic cycles, international trade, and the methodology of economic and statistical analysis. Morgenstern admits that bourgeois statistical science is far from perfect. He won renown as the creator, along with J. Von Neumann, of the theory of games. The basic flaw in Morgenstern’s thinking results from his attempt to use mathematics to resolve the contradictions of capitalism.


On the Accuracy of Economic Observations, 2nd ed. Princeton, 1963.
Von Neumann, J., and O. Morgenstern. Teoriia igr i ekonomicheskoe povedenie. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from English.)
References in classic literature ?
Your eminence," said the august visitor, "it was my first intention to speak of the matters that have brought me here to the queen, my sister, but I have reflected that political affairs are more especially the concern of men.
Was this love a simple political affair, or was it naturally one of those profound passions which Anne of Austria inspired in those who approached her?
blushed, this time more strongly than before; then, stretching forth his hand to that of the king of England, "My brother," said he, "I am ashamed to say so, but the cardinal scarcely ever speaks of political affairs before me.
Rabourdin's success depended on the tranquil condition of political affairs, which up to this time were still unsettled.
Then, moreover, as regarded his unceremonious ejectment, the late Surveyor was not altogether ill-pleased to be recognised by the Whigs as an enemy; since his inactivity in political affairs -- his tendency to roam, at will, in that broad and quiet field where all mankind may meet, rather than confine himself to those narrow paths where brethren of the same household must diverge from one another -- had sometimes made it questionable with his brother Democrats whether he was a friend.
During the Second World War, while trapped in the USA by Hitler's Anschluss, the Austrian economist Oscar Morgenstern collaborated with von Neumann on a book that became a classic text in game theory: Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.
Based on Stark's presentations as the Oscar Morgenstern Memorial Lecturer in Vienna, the book explores altruistic behaviors in a variety of circumstances, challenging the reader to consider further extensions in both the developing and developed economies.