Wassily Leontief

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Leontief, Wassily


Born Aug. 5, 1906, in St. Petersburg. American economist.

After he graduated from Leningrad University (1925), Leontief studied in Berlin (1925–28). In 1931 he emigrated to the USA and started teaching at Harvard University. In 1948 he became director of an economic research service. Leontief worked out the “input-output” method of economic analysis, a method initially developed by Soviet economists as early as 1924–28. His method studies the specific processes involved in substituting one part of social product for another in capitalist economic sectors. The principles advanced by Leontief are used for forecasting and programming the capitalist economy. Although criticizing certain conditions of bourgeois political economy and individual failings of capitalism, Leontief in his works ignores the antagonistic contradictions of capitalist production. He received the Nobel Prize in 1973.


The Structure of the American Economy, 1919–1929. Cambridge, Mass., 1941.
Input-Output Economics. New York, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
Some scholars, mostly of the older generation, have investigated the real world: Herbert Simon, Wassily Leontief, and Albert Hirschman are examples.
Phelps Brown, David Worswick, and Wassily Leontief have been similarly critical of the abuse and excessive use of mathematics in economics.
Wassily Leontief, in his presidential address to the 1970 meeting of the American Economic Association, condemned "preoccupation with imaginary, hypothetical, rather than with observable reality".
For a more complete bibliography of Professor Leontief's work, see Duncan Foley, "An Interview with Wassily Leontief," Macroeconomic Dynamics 2 (1998): 116-140.
See Wassily Leontief, "Theoretical Assumptions and Nonobserved Facts," American Economic Review 61 (1971): 1.
The Department of Labor," according to Wassily Leontief, "was the first government agency to take an active interest in the `input-output' approach to the study of the American economy and the continual cooperative relationship with its Bureau of Labor Statistics has benefited our work most decisively.
SOURCE: Wassily Leontief, Structure of American Economy, 1919-1939, table 6.
1) Wassily Leontief, "Preface," in Wassily Leontief, Hollis B.
In addition, he quotes economists Wassily Leontief and Martin Bronfen-Brenner who voiced frustration over the extent to which mathematics has come to dominate economics.
From Wassily Leontief and Robert Solow I learned about developments in economics from which France had been cut off, and in the Schloss Leopoldskron library I started reading Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.
On the one hand, a well-publicized study conducted by Wassily Leontief and Faye Duchin predicted that clerical employment would decline from 17.
1 Wassily Leontief and Faye Duchin, The Impacts of Automation on Employment, 1963-2000 (New York, Institute for Economic Analysis, New York University, 1984).