Hans Neisser, 1895-1975

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Hans Neisser may today be best remembered by modern economists for his 1932 critique of the Walras-Cassel model which helped prompt the Vienna Colloquium into action. However, Neisser's other contributions to monetary theory (esp. what he called "circuit velocity", e.g. 1928, 1931, 1933), structural growth and cycle theory (e.g. 1936, 1961) and econometrics - and philosophy (e.g. 1971) - bear out Schumpeter's description of him as "one of the most brilliant economic minds" of his generation.

However, Neisser's early achievements were shadowed by the tumult into which his career was thrown. As a German Jew, social democrat and researcher at the Kiel Institute, Neisser was among the first to be expelled during the Nazi ascendancy - in spite of the extraordinary efforts made by the Kiel directors to retain him. He subsequently moved to the United States in 1933, where he became the first Jew to receive a position at the University of Pennsylvania. However, seven years later, he was still untenured because "he couldn't get along with anyone". He gravitated to the New School for Social Research, where he joined his old Kiel colleagues, Adolph Lowe, Gerhard Colm and Jacob Marschak, where he remained for the rest of his career.

Major works of Hans Neisser

Resources on Hans Neisser

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