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Mary Morgan appointed first Albert O. Hirschman Professor at LSE

Mary Morgan 140pLSE is delighted to announce the creation of an Albert O. Hirschman Professorship in honour of the great economist, historian, and political theorist.

Albert Hirschman (1915-2012) was one of the great development economists of the 20th century.

A native of Berlin, he fled with the rise of the Nazis and later studied at LSE. Before taking up an academic career, he fought in the Spanish Civil War and joined

French resistance struggles. He became a key member of a team that helped thousands of artists and intellectuals to flee Nazi-dominated Europe, before himself leaving on one of the last ships.

After studying further at Berkeley, Hirschman worked for years in practical economic planning and policy, especially in Colombia. At Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton he went on to an extraordinary career.

Among his classic publications are Strategy of Economic Development; Exit, Voice, and Loyalty; The Passions and the Interests; and The Rhetoric of Reaction. At the same, Hirschman was actively engaged in the development of Latin American social science. He was an exemplary LSE alumnus, contributing enormously to social science knowledge and to making a better world. 

The first holder of the Albert O. Hirschman Chair will be Professor Mary S. Morgan, FBA.

Currently Professor of History and Philosophy of Economics at LSE and the University of Amsterdam, Professor Morgan also holds a visiting fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Morgan was educated at LSE and taught at Duke University and the University of York before returning to her alma mater. She has also worked in the Bank of England and at Citibank in London.

Her best-known research addresses the practical side of how economists do economics: how do models, measurements, observation, experiments, etc. actually work, and how these have changed over the last century. Her most recent books include The World in the Model (Cambridge 2012) and How Well Do Facts Travel? (Cambridge 2011).

Professor Morgan has received many research grants, honours and awards, and has been Vice-President of the British Academy and an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is currently working on projects on poverty measurement, on how economics gets used to change things in the world, and on the ways that narrative forms of explanation are used in the sciences.

LSE Director, Professor Craig Calhoun, said: “It is wonderful to be able to honour one of LSE’s most distinguished former members and one of its most distinguished current members at the same time. Mary Morgan’s work on the changing ways in which economists think and work and how these shape their understanding of the world is in the best tradition of Albert Hirschman’s path-breaking inquiries.”

25 August 2016