Leibenstein, Harvey

Leibenstein, Harvey

(1922–  ) economist; born in Yanishpol, Ukraine, U.S.S.R. Emigrating as a child to Canada, he came to the U.S.A. to attend Northwestern University. After teaching positions at Illinois Institute of Technology, Princeton, and the University of California: Berkeley, he joined the faculty of Harvard (1967), taking emeritus status in 1989. He also served in numerous other capacities; he was a visiting scholar or professor at many foreign universities and consultant to international and national organizations. His early work focused on development economics, especially in backward economies and in relation to population growth; he summed up his groundbreaking ideas in Economic Backwardness and Economic Growth (1957). His major contribution to economic theory was his "X-efficiency factor," which took into account such elements as managerial skills and labor relations to explain productivity. First advanced in 1966, his theory was fully set forth in Beyond Economic Man (1976) and has since been applied to business organizations.
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