Alexander Gerschenkron was a Ukrainian-born American economic . In , Gerschenkron wrote an essay Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, a cornerstone of his career, and of. C. P. KINDLEBERGER. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays. By A. GERSCHENKRON. Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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Long-standing friendships were broken, as with John Kenneth Galbraith.

But they are implicit in his efforts to pose the advantages of backwardness. On the other side is the reality of declining international assistance from the already developed North. Gerschenkron spent twelve months researching and writing to help produce Gulick’s book, Austria: In other words, expenditure patterns change in response to changes in relative prices because consumers switch their expenditure towards relatively cheap products.

With a monopoly in place, the government could set a price policy, which would force a number of farmers to discontinue grain production for the market and eventually carry out the needed adjustment of high cost agriculture to the international market conditions.

Additionally, one can record that a goodly number of them have also attained presidency of the Economic History Association. His early work often pursued the statistical tricks of Soviet planners.

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

You do not currently have access to this article. That accounted for its earlier attention, where the conditional nature of its predictions contrasted strongly with its Marxist and Rostovian alternatives. CambridgeMassachusettsUnited States. It also worked in favor to a major part of the German peasantry. Please read our Copyright Information page for important copyright information.


Born in Odessa inhe died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in Three years later, he committed himself to politics and the Social Democrats. Elements of modernity and backwardness could survive side by side, and did, in a systematic fashion. 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.

There were four parts of that career that are relevant. In other parts of the world, and in a later time period, larger amendments are frequently required, and sometimes forgotten by current advocates. To be eligible for the Alexander Gerschenkron Prize, you must have received your Ph.

Alexander Gerschenkron

And he wrote, in long nights of private work, what proved to be his single piece of greatest perpsective, Bread and Democracy in Germanypublished in Berkeley: In his essay, he mostly discusses Britain, Germany and Russia. He also referred to a northwest-to-southeast axis within Europe, with Britain as the least backward, followed by Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and—the most backward—Russia. A Journal of Socialist Theory.

His theory of economic backwardness contrasts strongly with other uniform stages theories, in particular Rostow’s stages of growth. This was a period when relationships with the Soviet Union became central to the United States, and when there were few others with his knowledge, interest and immense capacity to immerse himself in any and all information. He flourished as the doyen of economic history in the United States.


In it, he advanced the linear stages theory of economic development, which posits that development goes forward in largely determined stages. And more recently, with the rise of political economy as a field, his work is widely assigned as required reading. This perspectivd is also available for rental through DeepDyve. Leading universities absorbed his students, who almost always have had productive subsequent careers.

Citing articles via Google Scholar. The essay gave its name to his volume of essays published by Harvard University Press in But those years were not a happy terminus to his long stay at Harvard.

So does backwardenss case of success in Asia.

Alexander Gerschenkron – Wikipedia

There he rapidly learned German, as well as Latin, enabling him to attempt to baackwardness the entrance examination for secondary school within seven months. InGerschenkron wrote an essay Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspectivea cornerstone of his career, and of significance to European economic history.

Should one engage in significant land reform? Agricultural and Applied Economics Association members Sign in via society site. A Book of Essays. But he was the best scholar I have known. Gerdchenkron his performance at the gymnasium was not going well, until he encountered his future wife, Erica. Ultimately, as well, there are the many developmental failures — rather than only the successes — that now loom larger and attract attention.