Wesley C. Mitchell

Mitchell, Wesley Clair

Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1874–1948, American economist, b. Rushville, Ill. He received his Ph.D. (1899) from the Univ. of Chicago, where he studied under Thorstein Veblen and John Dewey, and he taught at several institutions, including the Univ. of California, Columbia, and the New School for Social Research. He also served on many government committees, was chairman of the President's Committee on Social Trends (1929–33), and helped found the National Bureau of Economic Research. One of the most eminent American economists, Mitchell questioned many of the tenets of orthodox economics and turned toward an institutional analysis based on behaviorist psychology. His chief researches were centered on investigation, often statistical, of the business cycle; his Business Cycles (1913, 2d ed. 1927) is his most important work. His other books include A History of the Greenbacks (1903), The Backward Art of Spending Money (1937), and Measuring Business Cycles (with A. F. Burns, 1946).

See biography (ed. by A. F. Burns, 1952).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Wesley Mitchell's Grand Design and Its Critics: The Theory and Measurement of Business Cycles
Epstein, Philip.
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 33, No. 3, September 1999
The Business Cycle Theory of Wesley Mitchell
Sherman, Howard.
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 35, No. 1, March 2001
Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting
Wesley C. Mitchell.
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1954
Business Cycles and Their Causes
Wesley Clair Mitchell.
University of California Press, 1941
What Happens during Business Cycles: A Progress Report
Wesley C. Mitchell.
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1951
The Stabilization of Business
Wesley C. Mitchell; Irving Fisher; Frank Haigh Dixon; John R. Commons; Lionel D. Edie; Edwin R. A. Seligman; John B. Andrews; Walter Dill Scott; Henry S. Dennison; Lionel D. Edie.
Macmillan, 1923
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Problem of Controlling Business Cycles" by Wesley C. Mitchell
Business Fluctuations, Growth, and Economic Stabilization: A Reader
John J. Clark; Morris Cohen.
Random House, 1963
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Mitchell on What Happens During Business Cycles" by Arthur F. Burns
Methods in Social Science: A Case Book
Stuart A. Rice.
University of Chicago Press, 1931
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 47 "Wesley C. Mitchell's Contribution to the Theory of Business Cycles" by John Maurice Clark
Modern Economic Thought: The American Contribution
Allan G. Gruchy.
Prentice Hall, 1947
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Quantitative Economics of Wesley C. Mitchell"
Institutionalism between the Wars
Rutherford, Malcolm.
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 34, No. 2, June 2000
Two Lives: The Story of Wesley Clair Mitchell and Myself
Lucy Sprague Mitchell.
Simon and Schuster, 1953
The Economic Impact of the American Civil War
Ralph Andreano.
Schenkman Publishing, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "Wesley C. Mitchell, The Production and Consumption of Wealth" begins on p. 3
Business Cycles and National Income
Alvin H. Hansen.
Norton, 1964 (Expanded edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 20 "Sequences, Leads, and Lags: Wesley Mitchell"
The Evolution of Institutional Economics: Agency, Structure, and Darwinism in American Institutionalism
Geoffrey M. Hodgson.
Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "Wesley Mitchell and the Triumph of Macroeconomics"
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