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.”

WORKS

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.

REFERENCE

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

V. S. AFANAS’EV

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Commons (University of Wisconsin), Wesley Clair Mitchell (Columbia University), Malcolm Rorty (AT&T), Nachum Stone, and Allyn Young (Cornell University)--met at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Economics Association to draft the bylaws of a new organization that would conduct timely research on important economic issues.
In 1912, Lucy Sprague married Wesley Clair Mitchell, whose "strong commitment to her life goals had eventually persuaded her that marriage would not prevent her from continuing her independent work" (Sicherman & Green, 1980, p.
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(1952) Wesley Clair Mitchell, The Economic Scientist, National Bureau of Economic Research
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Friedman and many other economists this century have fallen under the modernist spell, articulated, for example, by Wesley Clair Mitchell in 1924: "In economics as in other sciences we desire knowledge mainly as an instrument of control.
The correspondence between LucySprague and Wesley Clair Mitchell during this period is fascinating.
Mitchell, Two Lives: The Story of Wesley Clair Mitchell and Myself, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1953.