Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1874-1948.

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One of the most prominent American Institutionalists, Wesley Clair Mitchell almost singlehandedly constructed its concern with "business cycle" analysis. Mitchell was a professor at Columbia and one of the first directors of the New School for Social Research (from 1919 to 1931).

Mitchell founded the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in 1920 in order to pursue quantitative studies of the U.S. business cycle for which that organization has become renowned. His life-long interest in business cycles culminated in his authoritative opus with Arthur F. Burns, Measuring Business Cycles (1946). His two other books on business cycles (1912, 1927) give a view of Mitchell at his best. His students, which include Simon Kuznets, carried on much of Mitchell's work into the post-war period.

Although he followed the Institutionalists in eschewing agent-based theory, W.C. Mitchell's work was full of theoretical insights about society and the economy and he was a profound scholar of economic theory - as exemplified in his masterful lecture notes (1967). He also wrote many articles in Institutionalist theory.

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