Schwartz, Anna Jacobson

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SCHWARTZ, ANNA JACOBSON (1915– ), leading U.S. economist and economic historian. Schwartz was born and educated in New York City, the daughter of Pauline Shainmark Jacobson and Hillel Jacobson, recent immigrants from Eastern Europe. Anna Jacobson received her B.A. from Barnard College in 1934 and her M.A. (1935) and Ph.D. (1964) from Columbia University. In 1935, she married Isaac Schwartz, a controller for an importing firm. She and her husband had four children.

After working briefly for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Columbia University Social Science Research Council, Schwartz became a research assistant in the National Bureau of Economic Research in 1941 and was promoted to senior research associate 20 years later. In 1981–82, Anna Schwartz served as staff director of the U.S. Gold Commission and was in charge of writing the Gold Commission Report. She held various part-time academic positions at Brooklyn (1952), Baruch (1959), and Hunter Colleges (1967–69) of the City University of New York as well as at New York University (1969–70), and was appointed adjunct professor of economics at the cuny Graduate Center in 1986, soon after she became emerita research associate of the nber.

Schwartz, known for her meticulous attention to detail, was a leading authority on economic statistics, economic history, international monetary systems, and monetary economics. She published numerous articles, reviews, and books, both on her own and in collaboration with other prominent economists such as Walt W. Rostow, Milton Friedman, and Michael D. Bordo. Among her most important publications coauthored with Milton Friedman are A Monetary History of the United States, 18671960 (1963); Monetary Statistics of the United States (1970); and Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom: Their Relations to Income, Prices, and Interest Rates, 18671975 (1982). In 1987–88, Schwartz served as president of the Western Economic Association. She received honorary degrees from the University of Florida (1987), Stonehill College (1989), and Iona College (1992). In 1989, Money, History, and International Finance: Essays in Honor of Anna J. Schwartz, edited by Michael D. Bordo, was published in her honor. In 1993, the American Economic Association recognized Schwartz as a Distinguished Fellow.


R. Lipsey, "Schwartz, Anna Jacobson," in: Jewish Women in America 2: 1216–17; American Economic Review, 84, no. 4 (Sept. 1994).

[Harriet Pass Freidenreich (2nd ed.)]