Jack Hirshleifer 101: Successful Economist
Zatrun Published at July 28, 2023

In this article titled “Jack Hirshleifer 101: Who is a Successful Economist?” we will delve into everything you need to know about the accomplished economist, Jack Hirshleifer, that our readers at are curious about.

Jack Hirshleifer

Who is Jack Hirshleifer?

Jack Hirshleifer was born on August 26, 1925, and passed away on July 26, 2005. He was an American economist and held the position of professor at UCLA for many years. He received his B.S. degree from Harvard University in 1945 and his Ph.D. in 1950. From 1949 to 1955, he worked at the RAND Corporation, and from 1955 to 1960, he served as a faculty member at the University of Chicago. He continued to work at UCLA until 2001. Hirshleifer is known for his work on uncertainty and information analysis, economic conflict analysis, and bioeconomics.

His undergraduate textbook, “Price Theory and Applications,” has reached seven editions. A 1958 paper written by Hirshleifer played a significant role in making Irving Fisher’s theory of capital and interest canonical. During his time at the Rand Corporation, Hirshleifer wrote a report on the pricing of the Oroville Dam, which included, among other things, the debunking of the idea that the construction cost of the dam was not included. The dam was eventually built. Jack Hirshleifer passed away as an emeritus professor in economics, having come to the end of his career.

He is known for his excellent contributions in a wide range of interests, including knowledge economics, investment and capital theory, bioeconomics, and conflict theory subfields. After serving in the US Navy during World War II, Hirshleifer completed his A.B. degree in economics magna cum laude at Harvard University. Five years later, he obtained his doctoral degree in the same field at the same university. He worked as an economist at Rand Corporation from 1949 to 1955. Before joining UCLA in 1958, he received a postdoctoral fellowship in Statistics and Economics at the University of Chicago, where he also worked as a faculty member for five years.

Jack Hirshleifer

Achievements and Impact:

With a vast publication catalogue comprising of seven books and approximately 100 academic articles, Professor Hirshleifer is one of the most respected economists of his generation, known for his characteristics of clear analysis and questioning of fundamental assumptions. From his first work, “Water Supply: Economics, Technology, and Policy” (Chicago, 1960) to his latest book, “Force of The Dark Side: The Economic Foundations of Conflict Theory” (Cambridge, 2001), he has made significant contributions to the field of economics.

Jack Hirshleifer was an American economist and academic who served as a professor at UCLA for many years. He was a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society, and was also elected as a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association. Hirshleifer served on the editorial boards of several journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and the Journal of Bioeconomics. Throughout his 33-year tenure in the UCLA Economics Department, he was deeply respected by his colleagues and always had an open door for his friends, graduate, and undergraduate students.

While he was widely regarded as a great researcher, he was also deeply committed to teaching economics. As a teacher, he sought to impart his deep interest in the role of competitive markets to his students. This led him to write a groundbreaking and best-selling textbook on intermediate microeconomics, “Price Theory and Its Applications”. While his previous books focused on modeling and theory, his new text added interesting real-world examples to demonstrate how economic forces work. Through his own textbook and many others that followed his approach, Professor Hirshleifer continues to influence thousands of undergraduate students each year with his teachings.

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