Leontief, Wassily lē´ŏntēf [key], 1906–99, American economist, b. Russia, grad. Univ. of Berlin (Ph.D., 1928). The son of a Russian economist, he and his family left the Soviet Union in 1925 because of their opposition to the Bolshevik government. After serving as an adviser on railroad construction to the Chinese government (1929), he emigrated to the United States. He joined the faculty of Harvard in 1931, rising to the rank of professor in 1946. In 1975, he left Harvard to teach at New York Univ. Leontief is best known for his development of the input-output method of economic analysis, used by most industrialized nations for planning and predicting economic progress. He was awarded (1973) the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
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