Lionel W. McKenzie

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Lionel W. McKenzie
Born (1919-01-26)January 26, 1919
Montezuma, Georgia
Died October 12, 2010(2010-10-12) (aged 91)
Nationality American
Field Economics
Influenced Michele Boldrin
Information at IDEAS/RePEc

Lionel Wilfred McKenzie (January 26, 1919 – October 12, 2010) was the Wilson Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Rochester.[1] He was born in Montezuma, Georgia. He completed undergraduate studies at Duke University in 1939 and subsequently moved to Oxford that year as a Rhodes Scholar. McKenzie worked with the Cowles Commission while it was in Chicago and served as an assistant professor at Duke from 1948–1957. Having received his Ph.D at Princeton University in 1956, McKenzie moved to Rochester where he was responsible for the establishment of the graduate program in economics.

McKenzie has been the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973, election to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1978, the Order of the Rising Sun in 1995 and honorary doctorates from Keio University in 1998 and Kyoto University in 2004. The latter three reflect the success of his many Japanese students. McKenzie has been referred to as "the father of the mathematical economists in Japan".

His research focused on general equilibrium and capital theory. Although most widely known as a co-creator of the Arrow–Debreu–McKenzie model, he also published a book and numerous research papers, including:

  • "Demand Theory Without a Utility Index", The Review of Economic Studies, 1957.
  • "On the Existence of General Equilibrium for a Competitive Economy", Econometrica, 1959.
  • "The Classical Theorem on Existence of Competitive Equilibrium", Econometrica, 1981.
  • "Turnpike Theory, Discounted Utility, and the von Neumann Facet" Journal of Economic Theory, 1983.
  • "General Equilibrium", The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 1987, v. 2, pp. 498–512.
  • "Turnpike Theory", The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 1987, v. 4, pp. 712–20.
  • Classical General Equilibrium Theory, The MIT Press, 2002.

The 1957 paper appears to include the first derivation of Shephard's lemma in the context of consumer theory.

University of Rochester economist Lionel McKenzie, one of the chief architects of modern general equilibrium theory and an "economist's economist" revered for the clarity and rigor of his work, died in 2010. He was 91.[2]


  1. ^ "Economics Department Faculty". University of Rochester. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Pioneering Economist Lionel McKenzie, 91". University of Rochester. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 

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