Zvi Griliches - Definition

Hirsh Zvi Griliches (12 September 1930 - 4 November 1999) was an economist at Harvard University. He was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in an assimilated Jewish family that spoke Russian at home. During World War II he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp. In 1947 he immigrated to Palestine, where he served in the pre-state Israeli army, learned Hebrew, passed high school equivalence exam, and studied for a year at Hebrew University. He then moved to the United States, where he earned a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and then a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Chicago.

The parents of Zvi Griliches were worked to death in Nazi prison camps, and he and his sister narrowly escaped a similar fate. He taught himself English and came to America virtually penniless, where he became one of the nation's premier economists of the 20th century. His areas of expertise were the diffusion of technological change, the impact of education and Inflation on economic growth, productivity measurement, benefits of research and development, and methods for isolating the sources of economic growth.

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