Viner, Jacob

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VINER, JACOB (1892–1970), U.S. economist. Born in Montreal, Canada, Viner began teaching at the University of Chicago in 1916 and returned there after federal government service in World War i. In 1925 he reached the rank of professor. From 1946 to 1960 he was professor of economics at Princeton, and was simultaneously a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Viner served the U.S. government in a number of capacities: he was representative at the League of Nations (1933), and consulting expert to the Treasury (1935–39) and to the State Department (1943–52). His research, writing, and teaching covered many aspects of international economics, including trade and commercial policy, foreign exchange, international finance, and economic development. He was particularly interested in the application and adaptation of the theory of international trade to current problems and was among the first critics of the Keynesian neoeconomics. He claimed that the use of oversimplified and otherwise unrealistic models reduced the usefulness of the theory of international trade. Viner demanded the incorporation into the classical theory of what he regarded as the valuable elements of Keynes' analysis, without abandoning the fundamentals that had been developed by the older theory.

His publications include Canada's Balance of International Indebtedness (1924); Dumping: A Problem in International Trade (1923, repr. 1966); Studies in the Theory of International Trade (1937, repr. 1965); The Customs Union Issue (1950); International Trade and Economic Development (1953); The Long View and the Short (1958); and Problems of Monetary Control (1964).

[Joachim O. Ronall]

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