Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, Alexander Gerschenkron, Cambridge, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Pp. ($ ). Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays. By Alexander Gerschenkron. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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Understanding Economic Backwardness His present reputation comes instead from his dedication to European economic history. And he wrote, in long nights of private work, what proved to be his single piece of greatest length, Bread and Democracy in Germanypublished in Berkeley: The considerable appeal of the Gerschenkron model derives not only from its logical and consistent ordering of the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European experience.

Always, too, there were an impressive group of visitors to Cambridge who were invited to speak to the seminar, but never had permanence in its regular activities.

Archived from the original PDF on It is likewise anti-Rostovian. Rapid Soviet growth was not constructed on the basis of false statistics, but rather, inappropriate technique.

Alexander Gerschenkron

Review of Economics and Statistics. Econoimc economic history he taught a year-long course required of all graduate economics students.

That provided a chance for him to assess each student early on through a brief visit to his office. Retrieved from ” https: Alexander Gerschenkron and his ideas have had, like excellent wine, a remarkable maturing in recent years.

On one opt against the pressures of increasing globalization, and return to the industrial protection and import substitution of the past? Born in Odessathen part abckwardness the Russian EmpireGerschenkron fled the country during the Russian Civil War in to Austriawhere he attended the University of Viennaearning a doctorate in What was an advantage in one historical setting can readily become a disadvantage in another.

But they are implicit in his efforts to pose the advantages of backwardness. Gerschenkron defined an indelible, if unattainable, standard of scholarship for colleagues and students alike.

The Gerschenkron effect arises because of the negative correlation between prices and volumes. The rapid pace of development in East Asia, for example, has inspired a whole set of major alwxander over the last fifteen years, seeking to ascertain how a region, apparently condemned to continuing stagnation by religion, language and tradition, could spurt ahead in the s and subsequent periods.

While he did explicitly treat Austria as a failed case, it was not a central part of his theoretical structure. Not surprisingly, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 inhe was offered a further five years. In Germany, the key innovation would be the formation of large banks to provide access to needed capital for industrialization, even as greater Russian backwardness required hjstorical larger and more direct state compensatory role. In it, he advanced the linear stages theory of economic development, which posits that development goes forward in largely determined stages.

It was just as the computer was evolving and econometrics was undergoing rapid advance. Sign In Forgot password?

University of California Press. For others, his approach has often proved a useful starting point for the historical discussion of other parts of the world, such as Henry Rosovsky did with Japan, and others, elsewhere.

His early life was eventful. CambridgeMassachusettsUnited States.

Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective

Over time, and as he read prodigiously and modestly altered the theoretical foundation, the structure of his approach became ever more specific. There he rapidly learned German, as well as Latin, enabling him to attempt to pass the backwardnesa examination for secondary school within seven months. During his time on the Federal Reserve Board, Gerschenkron established himself as an expert on the Soviet economy.

He influenced a generation of Harvard histrical through his required graduate course in economic history.

Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective — Alexander Gerschenkron | Harvard University Press

But the important novelty, and alxander decisive point in his career, was the invitation from Charles Gulick, a Berkeley professor whom he had earlier helped in his research in Austria, to come to the United States. He found work in Vienna as a representative for a Belgian motorcycle firm. Inhe enrolled in the University of Vienna’s school of economics, graduating in Important as wconomic work was at the time, deflating vastly superior Soviet growth, it was not to be the basis of his subsequent fame.

Apparently disadvantageous initial conditions of access to capital could be overcome through new institutional arrangements. He researched at the University of California, Berkeley, for five years and then in he moved to Washington, D. In that interval, beyond gackwardness his efforts with Gulick, he also assisted Howard Ellis and Jack Condliffe.

Alexander Gerschenkron – Wikipedia

France, beginning later, would need greater intervention to compensate for its limitations. Ineight years after the Germans were defeated at World War Ithe Junkers started to plot against the forces of democracy.

Ten of his students in the mids prepared a Festschrift in his honor. At Harvard, he led the Economic History Workshop and taught courses on Soviet economics and economic history. Gerschenkron had a profound influence on his students. His knowledge was of vital importance to the Board, because it was during a time when the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States was a central issue.

In a celebrated article, he found the Gerschenkron effect changing the base year for an index determines the growth rate of the index. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Why should you be angry? He was an exceptional reader, of good books and bad. Gerschenkron, Alexander Reviewer s: That challenge was overcome, months later when he easily gained admission.

Backwardness was at the root of his model of late-comer economic development. It is the opening chapter of that volume, and a significant reason that it was recently selected as one of the most influential works of economic history ever published. There were four parts of that career that are relevant.