Kuznets, Simon

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Kuznets, Simon

(ko͝oznĕts`, kŭz`nĕts), 1901–85, American economist, b. Kharkiv, Russia (now in Ukraine), grad. Columbia (B.S., 1923; M.A., 1924; Ph.D., 1926). He emigrated to the United States in 1922. After serving as a fellow on the Social Science Research Council (1925–27), he worked for the National Bureau of Economic Research (1927–63), where he became involved in the study of business cycles. Kuznets taught at the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1930–54) and Johns Hopkins (1954–60); he joined the faculty of Harvard in 1960. Generally credited with having developed the Gross National Product as a measure of economic output, Kuznets was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1971. His National Income and Its Composition, 1919 to 1938 (1941) is considered his major work. A prolific writer, Kuznets has also written National Income and Capital Formation (1938), National Product Since 1869 (1946), Economic Growth of Nations (1971), and numerous other books and scholarly articles.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kuznets, Simon


Born Apr. 30, 1901, in Kharkov. American economist, doctor of economics (1926).

Kuznets graduated from Columbia University in 1923 and since 1930 has taught in a number of American universities. In 1960 he became a professor of economics at Harvard University. His statistical research contains extensive material describing the dynamics of the investment volume, the sectorial and technological structure of capital investments, the change in the capitalintensiveness of production, and the evolution of the capital accumulation rates in the United States and other capitalist countries over the last 100 years. The method he proposed for calculating national product, national income, and other indexes is used in the official reporting of the United States and a number of other capitalist countries.

Kuznets believes that the volume and distribution of investments and the level of the ratio between consumption and income are the basic factors in economic development. However, in stressing quantitative changes in the sphere of functioning capital, he overlooks the social factors that affect accumulation. Relying on specially selected data on the distribution of national income, Kuznets has endeavored to provide a statistical basis for the “revolution in income” that purportedly is occurring under modern capitalism in favor of the “lower” groups of the population. Kuznets’ definition of national income as the total of all income received within a year is invalid: because it includes all the secondary income of the nonproduction sphere, it overstates the amount of newly created value. He received the Nobel Prize for economics in 1971.


Cyclical Fluctuations. New York, 1926.
National Income and Capital Formation. New York, 1937.
Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings. New York, 1953.
Postwar Economic Growth. Cambridge (Mass.), 1964.
Economic Growth and Structure. New York, 1965.
Economic Growth of Nations: Total Output and Production Structure. Cambridge (Mass.), 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kuznets, Simon

(1901–85) economist; born in Kharkov, Ukraine. In 1922 he emigrated to the U.S.A. and was educated at Columbia University. He worked at the National Bureau of Economic Research (1927–61) and taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1930–54), Johns Hopkins (1954–60), and Harvard (1960–71). His major contributions include developing national income accounts and performing the historical research necessary to reconstruct that data for the U.S.A. back to 1869. His work advanced the acceptance of Keynesian economics during and after World War II. His major publication was National Income and Its Composition, 1919–1938 (1941). In 1971 he received the Nobel Prize in economics.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Kuznets, Simon S., 1961a, Capital in the American Economy: Its Formation and Financing, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kuznets, Simon. "Economic Growth and Income Inequality, "American Economic Review, 45, 1, 1955, pp.
Kuznets, Simon. "Two Centuries of Economic Growth: Reflections on U.S.