Sharfman, Isaiah Leo

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SHARFMAN, ISAIAH LEO (1886–1969), U.S. economist. Born in the Ukraine, Sharfman was brought to the United States in 1894, and in 1910 began his teaching career at the Imperial Pei-Yang University in Tientsin (China). Returning to the United States in 1912, he became a member of the faculty of the University of Michigan, and was later professor. From 1927 until his retirement in 1955 he served as chairman of the economics department. He was a member of many federal boards and commissions. In 1955 he became a trustee of Brandeis University and was deeply involved in all of its affairs. Sharfman's magnum opus was The Interstate Commerce Commission (5 vols., 1931–37).

His other publications dealt mainly with public control of economic activity, especially federal regulation of transportation. His analysis of regulatory problems reflected profound legal knowledge and a sense of social justice. He considered the regulatory process as a means for a democratic society to bring its economic affairs under rational and orderly control.

[Joachim O. Ronall]