Orris Clemens Herfindahl (June 15, 1918 in Parshall, North Dakota - December 16, 1972 while traveling in Nepal[1]) was an economist who studied natural resources. However, he is mainly known as the inventor of a concentration index (the Herfindahl index) which he proposed in his 1950 doctoral dissertation on the steel industry while at Columbia University.[2][3][4] In fact a similar index (with the addition of a square root) was proposed earlier (in 1945) by Albert O. Hirschman.[5] Thus, it is usually referred to as the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index.



  1. ^ "Herfindahl, Orris Clemens". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-04-06. b. June 15, 1918, in Parshall, N.D.; d. Dec. 16, 1972; ... traveling in Nepal when he died
  2. ^ Orris C. Herfindahl (1950). Concentration in the steel industry. Dissertation: Columbia University, published on Archive.org with consent of his heirs in June 2021. Columbia University/Archive.org.
  3. ^ Robert D. Hershey Jr. (1984-02-12). "Statistical Formula Used". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-06. The index is named for Orris C. Herfindahl, who employed such analysis in a 1950 doctoral dissertation on the steel industry while at Columbia University,
  4. ^ Julio Segura; Carlos Rodríguez Braun (2004-01-01). An Eponymous Dictionary of Economics: A Guide to Laws and Theorems Named After Economists. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 978-1-84542-360-5. Well, it's a cruel world
  5. ^ Albert O. Hirschman (1980-01-01). National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade. University of California Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-520-04082-3. ...there was a posterior inventor, O. C. Herfindahl, who proposed the same index, except for the square root...
  6. ^ Orris Clemens Herfindahl; Allen V. Kneese (1974). Economic theory of natural resources. Merrill. ISBN 978-0-675-08895-4.
  7. ^ Orris Clemens Herfindahl (1969). Natural Resources Information for Economic Development. Resources for the Future: Latin American Institute for Economic and Social Planning.
  8. ^ Orris Clemens Herfindahl (1959). Copper Costs and Prices: 1870-1957. Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 9780801802676.
  9. ^ Saefong, Myra P. (2013-03-22). "Here's why copper has lost its indicator role". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  10. ^ Buttonwood (2013-04-20). "Like chess, only without the dice". The Economist. Retrieved 2015-04-06. Copper, often seen as a bellwether of global activity,
  11. ^ Kortheuer, Dennis (2002-01-15). "The French Have Landed on the Shores of Santa Rosalía, or, How the Second Industrial Revolution, Porfirian "Progress" and the Rothschilds Brought Baja California Sur into the "Modern" World". University of California, Riverside. Retrieved 2015-04-06. Orris C. Herfindahl, in his study of copper costs and prices, argues that the price of copper relative to wholesale prices of other goods has been stable over the longer periods between 1870 and 1957.