Sumner Huber Slichter

Slichter, Sumner Huber


Born Jan. 8, 1892, in Madison, Wis.; died Sept. 26, 1959, in Cambridge, Mass. American economist. Doctor of philosophy (1918). Professor (from 1925).

Slichter studied at the Universities of Munich and Wisconsin and taught at Princeton (1919-20) and Cornell (1920-30). In 1930 he became a professor of economics at Harvard University. He served several times as an economic consultant to the government. Slichter wrote many works on employment, labor relations, the labor and trade union movements, the history of the US economy, economic growth rates, and the effect of technological progress on production. He was an adherent of the vulgar apologetic concept of the “democratization” of capital. He asserted that hired employees, including not only hired administrators but also capitalists (members of the boards and supervisory councils of industrial concerns), had become the decisive factor in the development of the American economy, which was being transformed into a “laboristic economy.”

Slichter proposed public control of the trade unions, which, in his opinion, had become too powerful. He believed that the American economic system was free of class conflicts and that the scientific and technological revolution was opening broad prospects for the economic development of the USA, through added incentives for investment and increased employment.


The American Economy: Its Problems and Prospects. New York, 1948.
What’s A head for American Business. New York, 1951.
Potentials of the American Economy. Cambridge, Mass., 1961.
Economic Growth in the United States: Its History, Problems, and Prospects. New York, 1963.
Union Policies and Industrial Management. New York, 1968. [23–1676–]