Machlup, Fritz

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MACHLUP, FRITZ (1902–1983), U.S. economist. Born in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, Machlup was a partner in a paper manufacturing enterprise in 1923. In 1929 he began lecturing at the Volkshochschule in Vienna. In 1933 he emigrated to the U.S. He was a research fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, which he left in 1935 to become professor of economics at the University of Buffalo. In 1947 he was appointed professor of political economy at Johns Hopkins and in 1960 became professor of economics and international finance at Princeton University, serving at the same time as director of Princeton's international finance section (1960–71). During the 1960s, one of Machlup's principal interests was the expansion of international liquidity. In 1963, he formed an organization of academics, known as the Bellagio Group, to study the looming international monetary problems, develop an academic consensus, and offer practical solutions. Among the offices he held in academic organizations were the presidencies of the Southern Economic Association (1960); the American Association of University Professors (1962–64); the American Economic Association (1966); and the International Economic Association (1971–74). He also served as a consultant to the U.S. Treasury (1965–77).

He is regarded as one of the fathers of the concept of "the information society" and "the information economy." Although Machlup never won a Nobel Prize, the Nobel committee listed his name several times as a candidate

Machlup's many publications include The Stock Market, Credit and Capital Formation (1940); The Political Economy of Monopoly (1952); The Economic Review of the Patent System (1958); The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States (1962); International Payments, Debts, and Gold (1964); Education and Economic Growth (1970); Methodology of Economics and Other Social Sciences (1978); the three-volume Information through the Printed Word (1978); and the first three volumes of the projected 10-volume series Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution, and Economic Significance (1980, 1982, 1983).

add. bibliography:

J. Dreyer (ed.), Breadth and Depth in Economics: Fritz Machlupthe Man and His Ideas (1978)

[Joachim O. Ronall /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]