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Gregory GROSSMAN

Gregory GROSSMAN, economist in the field of Social and Communist Economic Systems; Comparative Economic Systems; Economic Studies of Centrally Planned Economies. President, Western Slavic Association, 1971-1972, Association Comparative Economics Studies, 1972; American Association Advancement of Slavic Studies, 1980-1981; Fulbright Grant, Italy, 1960-1961; Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, 1964-1965.

Background

  • GROSSMAN, Gregory was born in 1921 in Kiev, USSR.

  • Education

    • Bachelor of Science (Commerce), Master of Arts University California Berkeley, 1941, 1943. Doctor of Philosophy Harvard University, 1953.

    Career

    • Economics, United States Department State, Washington, District of Columbia, 1948-1950. Economics, Board Governors, Federal Reserve System, Washington, District of Columbia, 1948-1950. Assistant Professor, Association Professor of Economics, University California Berkeley, 1953-1958, 1958-1962.

      Professor of Economics, University California Berkeley, California, United States of America, since 1962. Editorial Boards, J. Contemporary Economics, Slavic Review.

    Major achievements

    • President, Western Slavic Association, 1971-1972, Association Comparative Economics Studies, 1972. American Association Advancement of Slavic Studies, 1980-1981. Fulbright Grant, Italy, 1960-1961.

      Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, 1964-1965.

    Works

    Views

    It was by happenstance that I came to a life-long career of study and teaching of the Soviet and Soviet-type economies. Grown up in the interwar years in a Russian-speaking milieu (outside the USSR, thank God), I had as an undergraduate the good fortune of meeting the late Alexander Gerschenkron, who introduced me to the scholarly study of the Soviet economy, and later, after the war, helped steer me into government research, doctoral study, and an academic career. Thanks to him I have tended to see the Soviet economy within its social and historical continua, that is, inseparable from the country’s polity and culture, ruling ideology, and history. This made me somewhat of a generalist in the study of the Soviet economy: I tend to look at it holistically, as a system, as a seamless web (perhaps paradoxically, but defensibily, for an economy chronically characterised by mircoand macrodisequilibria in the theorist’s sense). Accordingly, I gravitated toward systemic investigation of the ‘common economy’ and of attempts at reforming it, the influence of doctrine on the system, the place of money in the command economy, and the like.

    I have been interested in the antinomy between administrative authority and ‘economic’ forces, a conflict that helps sustain the chronic repressed inflation and its reverse effects on the system. More recently, I’ve been absorbed in a study of the ‘second economy’ the aggregate of legal-private and illegal activities, which in large measure is both a creature of and a shaping influence on the command system.

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