As I walk around UCLA's campus on another sunny blue sky 75 degree day, I spot my colleagues from a variety of subfields and I ask myself; "Is that guy still working? What has he done recently?" For the University of Chicago's Robert Fogel, I already know the answer. This 86 year old Nobel Laureate just published a new book about Simon Kuznets and I have already read my free copy. Professor Fogel and his co-authors (including his wife Enid Fogel) meld a biographical tribute to Kuznets with a focus on why his research agenda was so important and simultaneously provide an intellectual history of early economics at the NBER during the early and mid 20th century.
While I can't claim to be a big fan of national income accounting, I know why this is an important exercise. From reading the book, I can see that Kuznets' commitment to original data collection and careful empiricism set a high mark for his student Robert Fogel. Bob Fogel has served as my wife's mentor for the last 25 years and I have had the good fortune to get to know him and learn from him. I can only hope that when I turn 86 in the year 2052 that I will be 1/2 as productive as Bob is right now.