Fritz Machlup
Born(1902-12-15)December 15, 1902
DiedJanuary 30, 1983(1983-01-30) (aged 80)
EducationUniversity of Vienna
(Dr. rer. pol 1923)
Academic career
InstitutionNew York University
Princeton University
Johns Hopkins University
University at Buffalo
School or
Austrian School
Ludwig von Mises
InfluencesFriedrich von Wieser
Ludwig von Mises
Friedrich Hayek
ContributionsInformation society

Fritz Machlup (/ˈmɑːxlp/; German: [ˈmaxlʊp]; December 15, 1902 – January 30, 1983) was an Austrian-American economist known for his work in information economics.[1] He was President of the International Economic Association from 1971 to 1974.[2] He was one of the first economists to examine knowledge as an economic resource,[3] and is credited with popularising the concept of the information society.[4]

Early life and career

Machlup was born to Jewish parents in Wiener-Neustadt, then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father was a businessman who owned two factories that manufactured cardboard.[5] In 1920, he began studying economics at the University of Vienna, where he received his dr.rer.pol in 1923.[6] At Vienna, he attended lectures by Friedrich von Wieser, and participated in seminars organised by Ludwig von Mises.[7]

In 1933, he moved to the United States, where he was a research fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation from 1933 to 1935.[6] After the Nazi seizure of Austria in 1938, Machlup remained in the United States, and became a naturalised citizen of the US in 1940.[8] He was the Frank H. Goodyear Professor of Economics at the University at Buffalo from 1935 to 1947,[6] and held visiting positions at various universities around the US, including Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford.[6]

From 1947 to 1960, he was the Abram G. Hutzler Professor of Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University, during which time he served as a research fellow at the Ford Foundation in 1957-58.[6] He was the Walker Professor of Economics and International Finance at Princeton University between 1960 and 1971, where he also directed the International Finance Section.[6] He was a consultant to the Treasury Department from 1965 to 1977.[6] From 1971 till his death in 1983, he was a professor of economics at New York University.[6] His key work was The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States (1962), which is credited with popularizing the concept of the information society.[4]

Machlup was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1961, and the American Philosophical Society in 1963.[9][10] He served as President of the American Economic Association in 1966,[11] and was President of the International Economic Association from 1971 to 1974.[2]

Shortly before his death, he completed the third in a series of ten planned volumes collectively called Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution, and Economic Significance.[12] Machlup also helped form the Bellagio Group in the early 1960s, and joined its direct successor, the Group of Thirty, in 1979.[5][13]

Major works

See also


  1. ^ Chipman, J.S. (2008). "Machlup, Fritz (1902–1983)". In Durlauf, S.N.; Blume, L.E. (eds.). The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. London: Macmillan Palgrave. doi:10.1057/978-1-349-95121-5_925-2.
  2. ^ a b "General Information | IEA".
  3. ^ May, Clifford D. (31 January 1983). "FRITZ MACHLUP, 80, AN ECONOMIST, DIES". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Crawford, S (October 1983). "The origin and development of a concept: the information society". Bulletin of the Medical Library Association. 71 (4): 380–385. PMC 227258. PMID 6652297.
  5. ^ a b Haberler, Gottfried (1983). "Fritz Machlup In Memoriam" (PDF). Cato Journal. 3 (1): 11.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Machlup (Fritz) papers".
  7. ^ Langlois, Richard N (1985). "From the Knowledge of Economics to the Economics of Knowledge: Fritz Machlup on Methodology and on the 'Knowledge Society'" (PDF). In Samuels, Warren J (ed.). Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology. Vol. 3. pp. 225–235. ISBN 978-0-89232-616-7. OCLC 1192122453. S2CID 37979985.
  8. ^ Klausinger, Hansjoerg (June 2014). "Academic Anti-Semitism and the Austrian School: Vienna, 1918–1945" (PDF). Atlantic Economic Journal. 42 (2): 191–204. doi:10.1007/s11293-014-9410-x. S2CID 154581753.
  9. ^ "Fritz Machlup". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2022-11-09.
  10. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2022-11-09.
  11. ^ "American Economic Association". Retrieved 2023-12-22.
  12. ^ Machlup, Fritz (2016). Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution and Economic Significance, Volume III: The Economics of Information and Human Capital. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-64049-5.[page needed]
  13. ^ "Bellagio Group". MIT. Retrieved 3 August 2020.