Zvi Griliches

DEFINITION of 'Zvi Griliches'

A celebrated Harvard University empirical economist. Born in Lithuania in 1930, Griliches, who was Jewish, was sent to a concentration camp during World War II. He and his sister were liberated by the American army, but his parents both died in concentration camps. He went on to teach himself English, serve in the Israeli army and earn a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He taught economics at the University of Chicago from 1957 to 1969, then joined Harvard, where he taught for thirty years until his death in 1999. In 1965, he won the John Bates Clark Medal.

BREAKING DOWN 'Zvi Griliches'

Griliches was one of the first economists to describe how the creation of new technology was an economic phenomenon, which he did in his dissertation, Hybrid Corn: An Exploration in the Economics of Technological Change. His major areas of research included technological change, economic growth, productivity and econometrics, among others. Griliches also served as an advisor to the federal government and to many private institutions, including the Brookings Institution and the World Bank.