Wesley Clair Mitchell

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Mitchell, Wesley Clair


Born Aug. 5, 1874, in Rushville, 111.; died Oct. 29, 1948, in New York. American economist and statistician, a representative of the Harvard school in economics.

Mitchell studied at the University of Chicago and became a professor at the University of California (1909–12) and at Columbia University (1914–19, 1922-24). From 1920 until 1945 he headed the National Bureau for Economic Research.

Mitchell attempted to use statistics to prove the theses of institutionalism. His work was characterized by a descriptive-statistical method, an empirical approach to economic processes, and a disregard for the objective economic laws of capitalism. Mitchell is known for his research on economic cycles. He attempted to prove the possibility of noncrisis development of the capitalist economic system. After the economic crisis of 1929–33, Mitchell became one of the theoreticians of “regulated capitalism.”


Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting. New York, 1927.
What Happens During Business Cycles. New York, 1951.
Types of Economic Theory: From Mercantilism to Institutionalism, vols. 1–2. New York, 1967–69.


Al’ter, L. B. Burzhuaznaia politicheskaia ekonomiia SShA. Moscow, 1971. Chapter 9.


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