Jacob Viner

Canadian economist

Jacob Viner (May 3, 1892September 12, 1970) was a Canadian economist and is considered with Frank Knight and Henry Simons to be one of the "inspiring" mentors of the early Chicago School of Economics in the 1930s: he was one of the leading figures of the Chicago faculty.

Quotes about Viner

  • A comparable error was made by Professor Jacob Viner in an important article on laissez-faire in Smith’s economics. He contrasted the mature realism of The Wealth of Nations with the youthful idealism of the Moral Sentiments, and quoted five passages from the ethical work as evidence for his view of it. The first of his quotations was in fact written for the far from youthful sixth edition.
    • D. D. Raphael, The Impartial Spectator: Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy (2007), Ch. 1: Two Versions
  • Jacob Viner used to assign exam questions that showed how Ricardo’s Chapter 2 recognized (in modern parlance):
    But, Viner insisted, this was compatible with rent’s being 99 per cent of national income and labour’s importance being derisory. Would that more historians of economic analysis had taken Viner’s EC 301 or brooded more on Ricardo’s text.
    • Paul A. Samuelson, "The Overdue Recovery of Adam Smith's Reputation as an Economic Theorist", in M. Rey (ed.,), Adam Smith's Legacy (1992)
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