Henry Schultz was born on September 4, 1893 in a Polish family in Szarkowszczyzna, in the Russian Empire (now part of Belarus). His family moved to the United States, to New York City, where Henry completed his primary education, as well as undergraduate studies at the College of the City of New York, receiving a BA in 1916. For graduate work, Henry Schultz enrolled at Columbia University, but had to interrupt studies in 1917 because of World War I. After the war he received a scholarship which enabled him to spend 1919 at the London School of Economics and the Galton Laboratory of University College London, where he had the opportunity to attend Karl Pearson's lectures on statistics.
After returning to the US, in 1920 Schultz married to Bertha Greenstein. In the future years, the couple had two daughters, Ruth and Jean. Schultz continued studying for his doctoral degree at Columbia, while at the same time conducting statistical work for the War Trade Board, the United States Census Bureau and the United States Department of Labor. He was awarded a PhD in economics from Columbia in 1925 with a thesis on the estimation of demand curves written under the supervision of Henry L. Moore.
In 1926 Schultz went to the University of Chicago, where he spent the rest of his career teaching and doing research. In 1930 he was one of the sixteen founding members of the Econometric Society. Henry Schultz died on November 26, 1938, near San Diego, California, in a tragic car accident that also killed his wife and his two daughters.
Led by his belief that economics needs rigorous quantitative study to become a science, Henry Schultz was one of the founders of mathematical and statistical economics. His research was centered around a large program dedicated to the theory and estimation of private demand for goods functions, a project which started in the early 1920s, during his studies at the University of Chicago, and was completed shortly before his death with the publication of his highly influential book Schultz(1938).
- Schultz, Henry (1925). "The Statistical Law of Demand as Illustrated by the Demand for Sugar". Journal of Political Economy. XXXIII (5): 481–504. doi:10.1086/253706. and XXXIII (6): 577-637. (PhD thesis)
- Schultz, Henry (1928). Statistical Laws of Demand and Supply with Special Application to Sugar. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Schultz, Henry (1938). The Theory and Measurement of Demand. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Influences and legacy
Henry Schultz was the doctoral thesis advisor for several students at Chicago, notably 1978 Nobel Prize in Economics winner Herbert A. Simon and future Cowles Commission director Theodore O. Yntema. Schultz also influenced Milton Friedman, who was his student and, for a year, his research assistant.
Henry Schultz started a mathematical economics school at the University of Chicago which, after his tragic early death, was in danger to disappear. This prompted the University to invite the Cowles Commission, which had a research agenda focused on empirical economics, to move its headquarters there. As a result, the Commission moved to the University of Chicago in 1939 and Theodore O. Yntema, one of Schultz's students, was named as its new president.
Notes and references
- The biographic information followes mainly Hotelling (1939).
- Who was who in America. 1963.
- Hotelling (1939).
- Herbert Simon, "Autobiography", in Nobel Lectures, Economics 1969-1980, Editor Assar Lindbeck, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992.
- Malcolm Rutherford (2003). "Chicago Economics and Institutionalism", University of Victoria working paper .
- Milton Friedman, "Autobiography", in Nobel Lectures, Economics 1969-1980, Editor Assar Lindbeck, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992.
- Cowles Commission, "Economic Theory and Measurement. A Twenty Year Research Report 1932–1952".
- Paul H. Douglas (1939). "Henry Schultz as Colleague". Econometrica (Econometrica, Vol. 7, No. 2) 7 (2): 104–106. doi:10.2307/1906834. JSTOR 1906834.
- Harold Hotelling (1939). "The Work of Henry Schultz". Econometrica (Econometrica, Vol. 7, No. 2) 7 (2): 97–103. doi:10.2307/1906833. JSTOR 1906833.
- Theodore O. Yntema (1939). "Henry Schultz: His Contributions to Economics and Statistics". The Journal of Political Economy 47 (2): 153–162. doi:10.1086/255358.