Robert Eisner
Born(1922-01-17)January 17, 1922
DiedNovember 25, 1998(1998-11-25) (aged 76)
InstitutionNorthwestern University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School or
Neo-Keynesian economics
Alma materColumbia University
Johns Hopkins University
Evsey Domar
Fritz Machlup
InfluencesJohn Maynard Keynes
business cycles

Robert Eisner (January 17, 1922 – November 25, 1998) was an American author and William R. Kenan professor of economics at Northwestern University. He was recognized throughout the United States for his expertise and knowledge of macroeconomics and the economics of business cycles. He was a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times, primarily covering national economic policy and reform.[1]

In 1972, he served as an adviser to George McGovern, during his campaign for the United States Presidency.[2] In 1988, he was elected as the president of the American Economic Association.[2] He was also the co-founder of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economic Profession. In 1992, he served as an advisor on economic policy to US President Bill Clinton.[3]

Personal background

Robert Eisner was born in New York City on January 17, 1922. He was raised in Brooklyn. His father was a high school principal, and his mother a teacher, which served as a catalyst in his early graduation from high school by the time he was 14 years old.[2] Following his high school graduation, he attended City College of New York, where he earned an undergraduate degree in history in 1940. He later earned his Master's degree in sociology, from Columbia University in 1942.[1][3]

In 1942, Eisner enlisted in the US Army. He was stationed in France during World War II. He went through the Army's basic training in North Carolina. While there, he met Edith Avery Chelimer, who was attending Duke University. They were married in 1946, following his discharge from the military. Together, they had two daughters, Emily is a lawyer with the Cook County, Illinois Public Defender's Office, while Mary is the legislative director for Kent Conrad.[2][3]

Following his service, Eisner attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, financed through the GI Bill. In 1951, he received his Ph.D. in economics and subsequently moved to Illinois, where he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1952, he moved on to Northwestern.[1]

Eisner died on November 25, 1998, at his home in Evanston, Illinois, from complications from a bone marrow disorder.[4]

Professional background

Eisner was a Keynesian economist and member of the faculty of Northwestern University for over 42 years, serving as chairman of the Economics Department.[3][4]

Eisner is known for his contributions to understanding investment, consumption behavior, macroeconomic theory, and fiscal and monetary policy. He published extensively in academic journals, including the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Econometrica, Economic Journal, Survey of Current Business, and Review of Income and Wealth.[5]

Honors and awards

Eisner was recognized as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Econometric Society. He was also the 15th recipient of the John R. Commons Award of Omicron Delta Epsilon, known as the International Honor Society of Economics.[1] He was a Guggenheim Fellow for the academic year 1959–1960.[6]

Following his death, the Roycemore School of Evanston established the Robert Eisner Distinguished Scholar Program in his memory.[7] At Northwestern University, the Robert Eisner Graduate Fellowship was established to recognize the top graduate student who has distinguished him or herself in both teaching and research. The fellowship is the Department of Economics' highest honor bestowed on a graduate student during their fourth year of studies. The recipient of the award is provided with tuition and stipend for the fall, winter, and spring quarters at the school.[8]

Published works


Economic journals


  1. ^ a b c d "Remembrance of Robert Eisner" (PDF). December 1998. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  2. ^ a b c d "KEYNESIAN CRUSADER: Robert Eisner; Why Not a Bigger Budget Deficit? – New York Times". 1988-01-03. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  3. ^ a b c d "Robert Eisner, 76, Economist, Professor – Chicago Tribune". 1998-11-27. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  4. ^ a b "Robert Eisner, Steadfast Keynesian Economist, Dies at 76 – New York Times". 1998-11-28. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  5. ^ "CFEPS Other Contributors – Robert Eisner". 1988-12-29. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  6. ^ "Robert Eisner". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  7. ^ "Robert Eisner Distinguished Scholar Program | Roycemore Private School in Evanston Illinois Serving the North Shore". Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  8. ^ "Graduate Student Awards" (PDF). Northwestern University. Retrieved 2012-01-23.