Robert William Fogel

Fogel, Robert William, 1926–2013, American economic historian, b. New York, N.Y., Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1964. He taught at Univ. of Chicago (1964–75, 1981–2013) and Harvard (1975–81). In 1993 Fogel shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science with Douglass North for their role in developing cliometrics—the use of economic theory and quantitative techniques to understand economic history—and for the increased understanding of process of economic change that their work enabled. Fogel's early work focused on U.S. railways, which he contended had contributed less to the economic growth of the United States than had been believed. He later studied the economic basis of slavery, concluding that it had been economically viable as practiced in the United States and would not have died out without the Civil War; and the economics of health and health care, finding that improved nutrition and improved health contributed significantly to economic growth. His works include Railroads and American Economic Growth (1964); Time on the Cross (with Stanley L. Engerman, 2 vol. 1974), his provocative study of U.S. slavery; and The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700 (with three coauthors, 2011).

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