The educational project “Personalities of the Russian Community Abroad. 1920-1945”

Wassily Leontief

Wassily Leontief

Wassily Leontief

(1900 – 1999)

An economist and creator of the theory on input-output analysis, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

He was born in 1900. Wassily was homeschooled. In 1925 he graduated from the Leningrad University. Then he studied economy sciences in Berlin and later worked at the Institute for the World Economy of the University of Kiel, Germany. In 1931 Leontief left for the USA where he worked for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Later he was teaching at Harvard University and York University where he established and headed the American Institute for Economic Analysis.

During the Great Depression Leontief was one of chief advisors to newly-elected President Roosevelt. It is hard to overestimate his contribution that helped overcome the consequences of the largest financial crisis at the time. The main topic in his research was related to involvement of the state to control the market fluctuations (it was the lack of state monitoring that was one of the reasons for the Great Depression).

Leontief was the first to find the best solution when he calculated the exact coefficient when the market regulations could be mostly effective. Leontief called his method of economic assumptions as “input-output”. In 1973 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for this method. In the USA they called him “Apostle of Plaroman


For many years Leontief was consulting the UNO. Also, he was invited to the USSR during Perestroika years as an expert.


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