Lubin, Isador

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LUBIN, ISADOR (1896–1978), U.S. economist. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Lubin received his Ph.D. in economics from the Brookings Institution (1926). He taught economics for a year at the University of Missouri (1917–18) and left to serve as statistician for the U.S. Food Administration, from which post he moved to the U.S. War Industries Board as a special expert. He returned to teaching in 1926, at the universities of Michigan and Missouri and Brookings Institute (1922–33). Subsequently, he served many public and semipublic institutions, including governmental agencies and the Allied Reparations Commission, the International Labor Organization, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

In 1933 Lubin assumed the position of U.S. commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He took part in drafting the National Industrial Recovery Act. He served as labor consultant on the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, advising on wages and projects (1933–39). A member of the President's Economic Security Committee (1934), he helped create the unemployment insurance section of the Social Security Act. He was also instrumental in getting the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in Congress in 1938. In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Lubin deputy director of the labor division of the Office of Production Management. In 1941, he became FDR's economic assistant, in which capacity "his favorite economist" assembled and interpreted for the president the statistics on all war programs. From 1946 to 1951 Lubin was president and board chairman of the research organization Confidential Reports, Inc., and from 1950 chairman of the executive committee of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation.

Under President Truman, Lubin served as an assistant secretary of state for economic affairs (1949–1950) and advised on details of the Marshall Plan. From 1950 to 1953 he served as American minister to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He subsequently served as New York State industrial commissioner under Governor Averell Harriman (1955–59).

In 1959–61 Lubin was professor of public affairs at Rutgers University. During the 1960s and 1970s he was a member of the board of directors of the New School for Social Research, consulted for the Twentieth Century Fund, and was consultant to the United Israel Appeal, Inc. (a U.S. body representing the Jewish Agency for Israel), in which capacity he paid frequent visits to Israel. He was also a member of the boards of the Weizmann Institute in Israel and Brandeis University.

Lubin's publications include The British Coal Dilemma (1927), The British Attack on Unemployment (with A.C.C. Hill, 1934), and Our Stake in World Trade (with F.D. Murden, 1954), all of which reflect his interests in labor economics, economic development, and trade policy.

[Joachim O. Ronall /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]