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Alexander Gerschenkron, Russian economist, educator. member Royal Swedish Academy Sciences, American Statistical Association, American History Association, American Philosophical Society, American Economics Association (Distinguished fellow), Economics History Association (president 1966-1968), Economics History Society, Phi Beta Kappa (honorary).


Gerschenkron, Alexander was born on October 1, 1904 in Russia. Son of Paul and Sophie (Kardow) Gerschenkron.


Dr Rer. Policy University Vienna, 1928.


Originally concentrated on soviet economic history and economics.

Examining the swift movement of indices of industrial growth in Russia, he discovered the ‘Gerschenkron effect’, whereby the choice of a base year for such indices influences their subsequent progress. Among his many other breakthroughs was his account of how the more backward countries of nineteenth-century Europe were able to develop at much greater speed than the earlier industrial countries. Association, Austrian Institute, Institution Business Cycle Research, Vienna.

Research Assistant, Lector Economics, University California Berkeley,

1938-1944. Research Staff, Board Governors, Federal Reserve System, 1944-1948. Professor, Harvard University, 1948-1974.