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Irving HOCH

Irving HOCH, economist in the field of Agriculture; Urban Economics; Quantitative Economics and Data. Member, NATO Review Panel, Council International Exchange Scholars, 1975-1980; Research Scholar, Agriculture Economics, Pennsylvania State University, 1978; Advisory Committee, Advisory Board Built Environment, National Research Council, 1983.

Background

  • HOCH, Irving was born in 1926 in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

  • Education

    • BPhil (Liberal Arts), Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy University Chicago, 1945, 1951, 1957.

    Career

    • Economics, Chicago Area Transportation Study, Chicago, 1956-1959. Assistant Professor, Association Professor Agriculture Economics, University California Berkeley, 1959-1967. Senior Lector, Fulbright-Hays Program, Autonomous University, Madrid, Spain, 1970.

      Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future, Washington, District of Columbia, since 1967. Editorial Board, Journal of Urban Economics.

    Major achievements

    • Member, NATO Review Panel, Council International Exchange Scholars, 1975-1980. Research Scholar, Agriculture Economics, Pennsylvania State University, 1978. Advisory Committee, Advisory Board Built Environment, National Research Council, 1983.

    Views

    I usually operate by applying the theory of the firm. Among those applications, I helped pioneer the use of analysis of covariance in estimating production functions, which include time and firm effects (shifters). I examined simultaneous equation bias in Cobb-Douglas functions, demonstrating that usual single equation estimates tend to yield the erroneous inference of constant returns to scale, which might be avoided by including firm effects.

    Empirical studies by myself and others support that conclusion. I also applied the theory of the firm to city size, viewing cities as analogous to firms. I hypothesised that large cities have become large because they are relatively more productive, and that workers must receive higher wage rates as cities grow larger to compensate for corresponding higher costs-of-living, including psychic costs. Generalising from city to settlement ties together work in urban economics and rural development.

    I then made empirical studies which related wage rates to settlement size and climate, hypothesising that wage differentials also reflect better or worse climate. Results have been encouraging. Much of my work fits under the heading of land use and population distribution, including such varied topics as the allocation of wilderness land, the optimal spacing of urban highways, the determinants of farm real estate value and the effect of increased energy prices on the distribution of population. I have been an input-outputer, using that technique in projecting regional economic growth and in examining the effects of higher energy prices on the composition of industrial production.

    In the first instance, I innovated by treating the household sector as endogenous. The estimation of the energy embodied in United States imports and exports was an innovative feature of the latter case.

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