January 24, 1902|
Görlitz, German Empire
|Died||July 26, 1977
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Nationality||Austrian and American|
|Institution||Mathematica Policy Research|
|Alma mater||University of Vienna|
|Contributions||Game theory, Mathematical economics|
Oskar Morgenstern (January 24, 1902 – July 26, 1977) was a German-born economist. He was a prominent member of the Austrian School of Economics before the Second World War and later, in collaboration with mathematician John von Neumann, he founded the mathematical field of game theory and its application to economics (see von Neumann–Morgenstern utility theorem).
Morgenstern grew up in Vienna, Austria, where he also went to university. in 1925 he graduated from the University of Vienna and got his PhD in political science. From 1925 until 1928 he went on a three year fellowship financed by the Rockefeller Foundation. After his return in 1928 he became a professor in economics at the University of Vienna until his visit to Princeton University in 1938. In 1935 Morgenstern published the article Perfect Foresight and Economic Equilibrium, after which a colleague of him, Eduard Čech pointed him to an article of John von Neumann, Zur Theorie der Gesellschaftsspiele(1928). During Morgenstern's visit to Princeton University, Adolf Hitler took over Vienna through the Anschluss Österreichs and Morgenstern decided to remain in the United States. He became a member of the faculty at Princeton but gravitated toward the Institute for Advanced Study. There, he met the mathematician John von Neumann and they collaborated to write Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, published in 1944, which is recognized as the first book on game theory. Game Theory is a mathematical framework for the study of strategic structures which govern rational decision-making in certain economic, political and military situations.
The collaboration between economist Morgenstern and mathematician von Neumann led to the birth of entirely new areas investigation in both mathematics and economics. These have attracted widespread academic and practical interest since that time. In 1944 Morgenstern also became a United State citizen, and four years later he married Dorothy Young. Morgenstern remained at Princeton as a professor of economics until his retirement in 1970, at which time he joined the faculty of New York University. Morgenstern wrote many other articles and books, including On the Accuracy of Economic Observations, and Predictability of Stock Market Prices with subsequent Nobel laureate Clive Granger.
Morgenstern died in Princeton, New Jersey in 1977.
- Morgenstern, Oskar (1950, 2nd rev. ed. 1963). On the accuracy of economic observations. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. xiv+322.
- Morgenstern, Oskar; Granger, Clive W. J. (1970). Predictability of stock market prices. Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books (D. C. Heath and Company). pp. xxiii+303.
- Oskar Morgenstern, "Thirteen Critical Points in Contemporary Economic Theory: An Interpretation," Journal of Economic Literature 10, no. 4 (December 1972): 1184
- – reprinted in Selected Economic /writings by Oskar Morgenstern, Andrew Schotter, ed. (New York: New York University Press, 1976), p. 288.
- Kemeny, John G.; Morgenstern, Oskar; Thompson, Gerald L. (1956). "A generalization of the von Neumann model of an expanding economy". Econometrica 24 (2): 115–135. doi:10.2307/1905746. JSTOR 1905746. MR 80573.
- Morgenstern, Oskar; Thompson, Gerald L. (1976). Mathematical theory of expanding and contracting economies. Lexington Books. Lexington, Massachusetts: D. C. Heath and Company. pp. xviii+277.
- Oskar Morgenstern
- Robert Leonard, Von Neumann, Morgenstern and the Creation of Game Theory, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010) 469 pp.
- E. Roy Weintraub, Evelyn L. Forget Economists' lives: biography and autobiography in the history of economics p. 234, Duke University Press Books (December 6, 2007)
- The New York Times biographical service, vol. 8, p. 276, New York Times & Arno Press, 1977
- Jürg Niehans, A history of economic theory: classic contributions, 1720–1980, p. 394, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990
- Jörg Bewersdorff, Luck, logic, and white lies: the mathematics of games, p. 368, A.K Peters/CRC Press (November 23, 2004)
- Christian Fleck Transatlantische Bereicherungen: zur Erfindung der empirischen Sozialforschung, Suhrkamp, 2007
- "Game theorist Morgenstern dies". Science, August 12, 1977; 197: 649.
- The Limits of Economics; William Hodge and Company, London, 1937
- Oskar Morgenstern Papers, 1866–1992 and undated, Rubenstein Library, Duke University
- Oskar Morgenstern’s Contribution to the Development of the Theory of Games; Andrew Schotter, Center for Experimental Social Science
- Game Theory and an Austrian Perspective, Ralph Byrns, The University of North Carolina
- Theory of Games and Economic Behavior; Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1944
- "Oskar Morgenstern (1902–1977)". The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of Economics and Liberty (2nd ed.) (Liberty Fund). 2008.