Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich


Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich

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Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1975

Born: 19 January 1912, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (now Russia)

Died: 7 April 1986, Moscow, USSR (now Russia)

Affiliation at the time of the award: Academy of Sciences, Moscow, USSR (now Russia)

Prize motivation: “for their contributions to the theory of optimum allocation of resources”

Prize share: 1/2


Leonid Kantorovich was born in St Petersburg, Russia. He entered Leningrad University in 1926, with an interest in mathematics, as well as political economy and modern history. He became a professor at Leningrad University in 1934, a position he held until 1960. Kantorovich headed the department of mathematics and economics in the Siberian branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1961-71 and then served as head of the research laboratory at Moscow’s Institute of National Economic Planning 1971-76.


Leonid Kantorovich did his most important scientific work in the field of normative economic theory, i.e., the theory of optimum allocation of resources. Like fellow Laureate Koopmans, Kantorovich studied how available productive resources could be used to the greatest advantage in the production of goods and services. An important element in his analysis was to show how the possibility of decentralizing decisions in a planned economy is dependent on the existence of a rational price system.

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