© The Nobel Foundation
Simon Kuznets

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

Simon Kuznets: Nobel Prize in
Economics Recipient-1971

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Simon Kuznets was an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, in 1971, for his empirically founded interpretation of economic growth which has led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure and process of development.

Simon Kuznets was born in Pinsk, Russia, on April 30, 1901. His parents were Jewish and his father was the first of the family to emigrate to the United States before World War I. In 1922, Kuznets and his family joined his father in the United States.

His university studies began in Russia and he completed them at Columbia University. Kuznets received a B.S. degree in 1923, a M.A. degree in 1924 and a Ph.D. in 1926.

Kuznets became a member of the staff in the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1927 to 1960. He became Chairman of the Social Science Research Council, 1949-1968. His other research activities were Associate Director of the Bureau of Planning and Statistics; the Director of Research of Planning Committee; a member of the War Production Board, 1944-1946.

He was Chairman of the Falk Project for Economic Research for Israel, 1953-1963, a member of the Board of Trustees and honorary chairman, Maurice Falk Institute for research in Israel and chairman of the Social Science Research Council Committee on the Economy of China.

Kuznets joined the teaching staff of the University as a Professor of Economics and Statistics, 1931-19361931-1954. He became a Professor of Political Economy at the John Hopkins University, 1954-1960. He then went on to be a Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

Simon Kuznets affiliations:
● American Economic Association, president-1954
● American Statistical Association, president-1949
● Economic History Association, honorary member
● A Fellow of Econometric Society
● A member of the International Statistical Institute
● An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society of England
● A member of the American Philosophical Society
● A Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy
● A member of the Royal Academy of Sweden

Simon Kuznets was married to Edith (Handler) and they had a son and a daughter. He died on July 8, 1985 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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