Leonid “Leo” Hurwicz (August 21, – June 24, ) was a Polish-American economist and mathematician. He was among the first economists to recognize. Leonid “Leo” Hurwicz (born August 21, ) is an American economist and mathematician who is known to fifty years of students as a professor and to his. Leonid Hurwicz, (born Aug. 21, , Moscow, Russia—died June 24, , Minneapolis, Minn., U.S.), Russian-born American economist who, with Eric S.
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Since Adek, Zina and Leo returned to Warsaw early in probably FebruaryLeo would have been less than a year and a half old when this statement was made. Leo would go on to give the world novel concepts and frameworks still used today in fields from economics to social science to political science and even data networking for problems like interdomain routing on the internet.
These frameworks include incentive compatibility and mechanism design. He was at the time — and may still be — the oldest person ever to receive a Nobel Prize in any category. One of his earlier contributions, presented in an articlewas the Hurwicz Criterionwhich offers a formula for balancing optimism and pessimism when making decisions under uncertainty. The picture below shows Leo with his parents.
If so, Leo might have been four or five years old. Leo was tutored by his mother at home until he was nine not an unusual practice at that time. Adek was a lawyer in Warsaw and encouraged his son to follow in his footsteps. His student ID is shown elsewhere on this page. At the same time, he attended the Warsaw Conservatory as a piano student.
Leonid Hurwicz, oldest Nobel winner, dies
Music was an avocation that he continued to pursue throughout his life. In order to get his law degree, Leo had to take some economics courses. The Great Depressionwhich had begun when Leo was just 12 years old, was still in full swing. So economics was, perhaps more than usual, at the forefront hruwicz current events.
One of the topics being passionately debated was the relative merits of free competition versus a centrally planned economy. Some observers, like Oskar Lange and later Abba Lerner believed that central planning, combined with elements of market pricing, was the solution. Other economists, such as Ludwig von Mises and later Friedrich Hayekmaintained that free markets were inherently superior to planned economies.
Also debated was the potential for the gold standard to further contract the money supply: Interestingly, Henryin his Shoah Foundation testimony, explains that anti-semitism also played a role in allowing my father to leave Poland. Normally, a young man of his age could be drafted into the Polish infantry.
Thus, my father hurwucz excused from serving in the Polish Army. Kaldor was a Hungarian immigrant with a thick accent. Another of his professors was Dennis Robertsona former collaborator with Keynes who had just taken up a professorship at the LSE in They said I had to extend the passport, and then they could extend the visa.
Well, the Poles were making difficulties with leonic the passport. So I tried to get the British to permit me to stay a little longer. But they said that was not their custom. Henry describes how this pretending caused them some worry: And then what do we get? Because he was also you know, 22 years old, so he really should be in the army, too.
The first thing I did leonld to go to Paris. And I stayed in Paris for a couple of weeks, maybe a month, of the year I was at that point in Paris. I took the first train to Bern.
That was very good, uhrwicz otherwise I would have been caught in France under the Nazis. I really, as usual, paid attention to the headlines. When I traveled from Paris to Bern, I remember the blue lights inside the train: But then what it gave was the address of the Kotzins in Chicago: Consulate in Switzerland, which huurwicz in Zurich in Switzerland, said they must have certificates of good conduct from each of the countries I had occupied in the previous five years, which was Poland which hutwicz occupied by the Nazis and England and France.
The British said they were not in the custom of lfonid certificates of good conduct. Consulate in Zurich insisted on that. Now, as Leo was well aware, the Swiss wanted to reduce the foreign population in their country. He leinid appealed to the Director of the Institute lfonid help see his letter elsewhere on this pageapparently successfuly, since he managed to remain until June.
Assuming Leo composed this letter himself, his English now seems to be excellent. One hint that he may have indeed composed it on his own is the strikeover near the end of the fourth line. He got it very quickly, because it was a collegial relationship between the police in Western European countries.
Once he had his visas, it would seem that Leo departed with all due haste. He did not wait to get most of the paper certificates that would provide proof of the courses he took. Instead, he asked the Graduate Institute to mail them to him in the United States.
Leonid Hurwicz – Biographical –
Taft in Cinccinnati, Ohio. Leo flew from Switzerland to Barcelona, and then went by train, first to Madrid, then to Lisbon, Portugal. The scariest part of this journey, Leo said [ 7 ], was taking off from a mountainous location in eastern Switzerland.
This was almost certainly Engadin, also known as Samedan.
Previously, Locarno, Switzerland, would have been a much more likely point of departure, but Locarno-Barcelona flights ceased after May On a little shuttle bus after landing in Barcelona, he was chatting with a Portuguese businessman who was sitting next to him. Leo looked out the window and saw planes with swastikas. And I bought passage on an Italian boat. I hureicz had the visa. This was early June.
Leonix just at that time, Italy joined Germany as partner in the leoni. So I was stuck again without money. I was in Lisbon already by that time. I got that far. First I went to the Italian shipping lines and I asked for my money back.
They just laughed at me. Then I went to the harbor police, and essentially I used a variant of my trick in Geneva. The dictator was an economist. And the police could do anything they wanted. Leo booked passage on a Greek ship, the Nea Hellasdeparting from Lisbon on August leoni,arriving in New York, apparently on August 11though it had been scheduled for the 10th.
The name of the boat somehow got changed to Nea Agllas in an article that came out when Leo received the Nobel Prize. At that point, Greece was neutral in the war.
Helen was the sister of Sara Lea, wife of Max. Moritz died inbut Helen lived until By the time Leo arrived, she had moved from Canada to the United States. She was about seven at the time.
He also began attending classes at the University of Chicago, most importantly those of Oskar Lange leoni, who provided lenoid counterpoint to the anti-socialist arguments of Hayek lfonid Mises. As far as I know, Mises was in New York at this time. He does not say anything about studying with Mises huwicz Chicago. But I had no other offers. In fact, it was a miracle I had this one. Lange provided four names but recommended Leo as follows:.
He has an excellent mind, and is in my opinion, the best of the candidates on this list. He has quite a background in mathematical statistics, and has quite extensive knowledge of analysis. Before becoming an economist he was a theoretical physicist. He also did numerical work in experimental physics. He is really leinid of the very best I have had among students. In addition, he needs a job very badly, because he has no income at all. In fact, somewhat astonishingly, Leo never did receive any degree other than the LL.
Apparently, there is some disagreement about exactly what Leo did during this short tenure at MIT. The new system was very unpopular, as were those who were held responsible for it Leo leonod Samuelson. Leo returned to Chicago in mid-June,with improved prospects now that he had worked for Samuelson. In July,Leo was hired as a research associate at the Cowles Commission.
He continued in this position until Lepnid, The Cowles Commission was instrumental in pioneering an analytical, mathematical approach to economics.
It was also around this time, probably in August or September,that Leo got a postcard from Henry and Zina in Kutaisi, Georgia, and a telegram from Adek in Fergana, Uzbekistan, and was able to help them reunite in Georgia. They had four children: SarahMichaelRuth and Maxim The picture below shows the family, probably in aroundjudging from the fact that Maxim is not in the picture yet.