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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His early life was eventful. Charles Gulicka professor at the University of California, Berkeleyinvited Gerschenkron to be his research assistant. Few who were recruited could desist, regardless of initial inclinations that were not directed to economic history.

The collection of essays under review, which opens with the backwardness thesis and closes with appendices on industrial development in Italy and Bulgaria with reflections on Soviet literature along the way — has achieved a hallowed acceptance. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Even the recent pause, requiring massive assistance from the IMF and extensive domestic restructuring, has come off with barely a temporary decline. It rejected the English Industrial Revolution as the normal pattern of industrial development and deprived the original accumulation of capital of its central force in determining subsequent expansion. Gerschenkron stated that a country such as Russia, backward relative to Britain when it embarked on industrialization, did not go through the same stages.

He worked for the firm for three year, but then decided to commit himself to politics, in particular the Social Democrats.

American people of Russian-Jewish descent Austrian School economists Development economists Economic historians Jewish American historians Guggenheim Fellows Harvard University faculty births deaths 20th-century historians 20th-century American economists Distinguished Fellows of the American Economic Association.

That provided a chance for him to assess each student early on through a brief visit to his office. Success was indicated by proportionally more rapid growth in later developers, signaled by a decisive spurt in industrial expansion. That book attacked the Junkers for their exploitation of the rest of the German population, and earned him promotion to the rank of Instructor with the opportunity to teach courses.


Alexander Gerschenkron

Three years later, he committed himself to politics and the Social Democrats. They also obtained a father figure whom they desperately sought to imitate in their own scholarship and subsequent teaching. That challenge was overcome, months later when he easily gained admission. Gerschenkron kept to his Russian roots—in his economics, history and as a critic of Russian peerspective.

Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective

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 a larger and more direct state compensatory role.

He also learned many languages. His third great contribution came through his students. InGermany introduced a new tariff and formulated a definite policy, backwafdness protected domestic grain production against overseas competition. His talents were notable and appreciated: His seminar then, and the availability of fellowship support, attracted several Harvard students, and even some from neighboring MIT, to work in the field.

There were no equivalent stages of economic growth in all participants. What these persons gained was proximity to a stellar intellect, and close association with each other as they pursued their research.

Retrieved 16 April 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. Four years economci, he and his family would exit and join them, and hardly in easy circumstances. In his essay, he mostly discusses Britain, Germany and Russia. At the Federal Reserve, he established himself as an expert on the Soviet economy.

Archived from the original PDF on Backwardnness you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The Gerschenkron effect can arise with aggregation methods that use either a reference price structure or a reference volume structure to compare countries.

In a notable Rand study inA Dollar Index of Soviet Machinery Output, tohe showed that the remarkably high rates of growth of Soviet industrial production owed itself to the index number bias: And he wrote, in long nights of private work, what proved to be his gerschenkgon piece of greatest length, Bread and Democracy in Germanypublished in Berkeley: InGerschenkron and his family emigrated to the United States after the annexation of Austria to the German Reich.


Born in Odessa inhe died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in Gerschenkron had extremely good judgment or very good luck, or perhaps a combination of both. He researched at the University of California, Berkeley, for five years and then in he moved to Washington, D. Should one renationalize after the extraordinary privatization that has occurred over the last decade or so?

University of California Presswas brilliant. Also, the more coercive and comprehensive were the measures required alexaner reduce domestic consumption and allow national saving. 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.

In his own writings, his references were varied, and consciously intended to impress: That was successful, but inadequate. His acceptance marked the real beginning of his academic career that subsequently was to flourish over the rest of his life.

Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays

Suddenly recommitted to study, he overcame his initial lapse, and graduated with his class. These new issues are not ones that Gerschenkron explicitly raised. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Gerschenkron studied many subjects, from history of economics, economics of the Soviet Union, statistics, Greek poetry, and a great deal in between.

He did well, advancing to head of the International Section, until the decisive moment came in