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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In his own writings, his references were varied, and consciously intended to impress: InGerschenkron published a book titled Bread and Democracy in Germany.

Gerschenkron kept his former political affiliations a secret after he was able to immigrate to the United States. Sign In eonomic Create an Account. He showed that the high rate of growth of Soviet industrial production was an effect of index number bias: He usually limited himself to a final evaluative comment, and one that either justified further research or implicitly suggested that another topic might be a economix eventual choice.

This “Gerschenkron effect” was a significant finding that deflated the announced superior Soviet growth. Entry therein was a special occasion: A fourth and last relevant observation relates to his general intellect. From Habsburg to Hitler. In economic history he taught a year-long course required of all graduate economics students.


A Book of Essays. He also led evening seminars once a week in which his graduate students would discuss ideas for dissertations and evaluate quantitative techniques. Retrieved 16 April His early work often pursued the statistical tricks of Soviet planners. His knowledge was of vital importance to the Board, because it was during a time when the relationship between gerschenkton Soviet Union and the United States was a central issue.

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

In his essay, he mostly discusses Britain, Germany and Russia. He did well, advancing to head of the International Section, until the decisive moment came in In this study, he constructed a series of dollar indexes of Soviet industrial output for the purpose of proving the deficiencies of the official Soviet index during that time His acceptance marked the real beginning of his academic career that subsequently was to flourish over the rest of his life.

Backwardness can too easily become an alternative, technologically rooted explanation that distracts attention from the state and the politics surrounding it, rather than focusing upon its opportunities and constraints.

Article PDF first page preview. Those specific cases, in turn, bolstered his advocacy of a comparative, all-encompassing European structure.

Gerschenkron stated that a country such as Russia, backward relative to Britain when it embarked on alexancer, did not go through the same stages. There, he taught economic history and Soviet studies.


Alexander Gerschenkron

His course required two major dissertation papers and a final exam. By the mids, ten of his students, both in Soviet economics and economic history, prepared a Festschrift in his honor. There were four parts of that career that are relevant. Related articles in Google Scholar. Many of the essays are still worth reading.

Gerschenkron had extremely good judgment or very good luck, or perhaps a combination of both. Always, application of the backwardness approach requires close attention to detail, as well as a quantitative emphasis. His erudition and breadth of knowledge became legendary in its time. He researched at the University of Pefspective, Berkeley, for five years and then in he moved to Washington, D.

His talents were notable and appreciated: Citing gerachenkron via Google Scholar.

I summarize it here in four hypotheses: It predicts that the more “economically backward” a country is, the more we will see:.