Economics in America: The Founding of the NBER

This is a final draft with citations of a presentation made by Jessica Einhorn, resident Senior Adviser at RockCreek, on December 4, 2019.

In 1920, a few idealistic men (only men for many decades), with highly polarized economic views, surprised themselves by coming together to establish an organization that would endow economics with the scientific properties they admired in the physical sciences. Their revolutionary approach entailed rescuing economics from the philosophical and theoretical battles of the past and, in its place, establishing economics as a social science with the rigor of scientific principles. The organization they established was the National Bureau of Economic Research, which became the home of economists in the United States.

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