July 23, 1898-July 27, 1977
BY KENNETH J. ARROW
BORN IN 1898 IN KIEV, capital of the Ukraine, Jacob Marschak died seventy-nine years later in Los Angeles, California, still in active service as professor of economics and business administration at the University of California at Los Angeles and president-elect of the American Economic Association. These facts only barely suggest the long and varied odyssey of his career and his high—though slowly developed—position in American economics.
Marschak's scholarly career spanned fifty-five years and three very different environments: Germany of the Weimar period, the United Kingdom of the Great Depression, and the United States from World War II on. The world economy and economists' perceptions and theories were altering rapidly, and Marschak experienced, in addition, international variances in academic environment—especially in traditions and modes of economic thought. To all these influences must be added the fact that he was a Russian and a Jew, whose educational and political formation derived from a particular period of Russian history that had little in common with the life of his host countries.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Marschak's focus as an economist showed considerable changes of direction over his long and productive lifetime. His early empirical and prac-