© The Nobel Foundation
Robert W. Fogel

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

Robert W. Fogel: Nobel Prize
in Economics Recipient-1993

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Robert W. Fogel was an American Jewish Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1993, which he shared with Douglas C. North for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change.

He was born on July 1, 1926, in New York City, New York. This was four years after his parents and brother had migrated from the city of Odessa, in Russia. Fogel grew up during the depression years of the 1930s. His parents encouraged his brother and him to get a good education. He went through the school system of the City of New York and graduated Thomas Jefferson High School in 1944.

He attended Cornell University and received his B.S. degree, in 1948, with history as a major and economics as a minor. He went to Columbia University and received his M.A. degree, in 1960. Fogel went to John Hopkins University where he earned his Ph.D. degree, in 1963. It was at Cornell University that his scientific interests shifted to economics and history.

Simon Kuznets, who was a Nobel Prize laureate in 1971, supervised Fogel’s doctoral dissertation and was an influencing figure in his graduate training.
When Fogel left John Hopkins University, he decided to work on two future strategies: to measure the impact of key scientific and technological innovations, key governmental policies and key environmental and institutional changes on the course of economic growth and the second was, to promote wider use of mathematical models and statistical methods of economics in studying the complex, long tem processes that were the focus of economic historians.

Fogel met and married Enid Cassandra Morgan during the 1948 presidential election campaign of Henry Wallace. She has been a great supporter and critic of him over their married life. They had two sons, Michael and Steven.

Fogel is currently applying his work and research to the economic growth of the Asian countries.

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