Wassily Leontief


Wassily Leontief

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Wassily Wassilyevich Leontief
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1973

Born: 5 August 1906, St. Petersburg, Russia

Died: 5 February 1999, New York, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: “for the development of the input-output method and for its application to important economic problems”

Prize share: 1/1


Wassily Leontief was a student at the University of Leningrad (1921-25) and the University of Berlin. He immigrated to the United States in 1931, teaching at Harvard University where he became a professor in 1964. He set up the Harvard Economic Research Project in 1948 and remained its director until 1973. Leontief married poet Estelle Marks in 1932 with whom he shared one daughter.


Wassily Leontief created the input-output analysis, which describes the interdependence in the production system as a network of deliveries between the various sectors of production. The method provided tools for a systematic analysis of the complicated interindustrial transactions in an economy. Leontieff is also distinguished for having developed linear programming, a mathematical technique for solving complex problems of economic operations.

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