Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Memorandum,
Oslo University, Department of Economics

No 18/2016: Wassily Leontief and the discovery of the input-output approach

Olav Bjerkholt ()
Additional contact information
Olav Bjerkholt: Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo, Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: The paper is about Wassily Leontief’s path towards the discovery of input-output economics, published in the Review of Economic Statistics in 1936 and 1937 and in the 1941 monograph The Structure of American Economy, 1919-1929. The aim has more specifically been to look more closely into how Leontief’s discovery was rooted in earlier career and experience. The paper sets out an account of Leontief’s life from his childhood and youth in St. Petersburg, his study years in Berlin, his research experience at the Institute of World Economics in Kiel, and the circumstances that brought him to the United States in 1931 and to Harvard shortly afterwards.

Keywords: Leontief; input-output

JEL-codes: B31; D57

122 pages, December 8, 2016

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