Frank William Taussig

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Frank William Taussig
Frank William Taussig by Pach Brothers.jpg
Taussig c. 1885–1890
Born(1859-12-28)December 28, 1859
St. Louis, Missouri
DiedNovember 11, 1940(1940-11-11) (aged 80)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
NationalityUnited States
FieldInternational economics
Alma materHarvard University
InfluencesCharles F. Dunbar
InfluencedJacob Viner
 
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Frank William Taussig
Frank William Taussig by Pach Brothers.jpg
Taussig c. 1885–1890
Born(1859-12-28)December 28, 1859
St. Louis, Missouri
DiedNovember 11, 1940(1940-11-11) (aged 80)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
NationalityUnited States
FieldInternational economics
Alma materHarvard University
InfluencesCharles F. Dunbar
InfluencedJacob Viner

Frank William Taussig (December 28, 1859 – November 11, 1940) was a U.S. economist and educator. Taussig is credited with creating the foundations of modern trade theory.

Biography[edit]

He was born in St. Louis, the son of William and Adele (Wuerpel) Taussig. His parents encouraged his literary and musical interests, and he played the violin at an early age. He was educated in the St. Louis public schools and at Smith Academy in that city. He then went to Washington University there, but after a year transferred to Harvard from where he graduated in 1879.[1] He then traveled in Europe for a year, taking some time to study economics at the University of Berlin. He then did graduate work at Harvard in law and economics, and during this time was secretary to President Charles W. Eliot for some years. He got a law degree in 1886 and was appointed assistant professor at Harvard.[2] He became professor of economics in 1892, and remained at Harvard for the balance of his professional career, except for several years spent in federal service, and some time spent traveling in Europe recovering from a nervous disorder.[1]

Taussig was also a Progressive and, like most Progressives of his time, an open advocate of forced sterilization of both inferior races and classes. In his 1911 textbook Principles of Economics, Taussing remarked that: "Certain types of criminals and paupers breed only their kind, and society has a right and a duty to protect its members from the repeated burden of maintaining and guarding such parasites... The human race could be immensely improved in quality, and its capacity for happy living immensely increased, if those of poor physical and mental endowment were prevented from multiplying." [3]

He was editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics from 1889 to 1890 and from 1896 to 1935; president of the American Economic Association in 1904 and 1905; and chairperson of the United States Tariff Commission from 1917 to 1919. In March 1919, he was called to Paris to advise in the adjustment of commercial treaties, and in November, on invitation of President Wilson, he attended the second industrial conference in Washington for promoting peace between capital and labour. He was a strong supporter of the League of Nations.

Taussig is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The successor to his chair at Harvard was Joseph Schumpeter. In 1888, he married Edith Thomas Guild. One of their four children was Helen Brooke Taussig (1898–1986), a noted pediatrician and cardiologist. F. W. Taussig's first wife died in 1910, and he married Laura Fisher.[1][2]

Works[edit]

F. W. Taussig (second from the left) at the 1911 Harvard commencement

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Edward S. Mason (1958). "Taussig, Frank William". Dictionary of American Biography. Supplement Two. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 
  2. ^ a b Ann T. Keene (1999). "Taussig, Frank William". American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ f. w. taussig (1915). principlse of economics. pp. 236–. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]