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The accomplished career of Harold “Hal” Hochman, William E. Simon Professor of Economics, was celebrated in a recent article published in Eastern Economic Journal.

In the fall 2001 issue, Steven Pressman of Monmouth University described Hochman’s work as Eastern Economic Journal editor and summarized his other scholarly research. Article co-author James Rogers of Penn State University gave a biographical sketch of Hochman’s career, described his role as teacher and scholar, and wrote about their joint work on utility interdependence and income redistribution.

Hochman has made major contributions to the field of economics in several areas. “First, in a series of papers with James Rodgershe traced out the relationship between utility interdependence and redistribution,” writes Pressman. “Second, he developed the empirical underpinnings of redistribution through public choice by looking at attitudes toward risk and distributional choices. Third, Hal has written about the “urban crisis” plaguing large cities such as New York. Finally, Hal has developed models of addictive behavior.”

Hochman has published several dozen articles in top journals such as American Economic Review and Quarterly Journal of Economics. Most recently, he authored “Is Democracy an Antidote to Extremism?” in Political Extremism and Rationality, edited by Albert Breton, Gianluigi Galeotti, Pierre Salmon, and Ronald Wintrobe for Cambridge University Press this year. Hochman has edited or co-edited seven books. In addition to serving as editor of Eastern Economic Journal from 1991-1998, Hochman has served on the editorial boards of National Tax Journal and Public Finance Quarterly for many years.

As editor of Eastern Economic Journal, Hochman streamlined operations, cut publication costs, introduced a regular column, and brought about other significant improvements, notes Pressman: “Great emphasis was placed on making sure that the articles published in the Journal were clearly written and accessible to a large audience. Hal always stressed that articles must try to say something new, rather than merely changed some assumption and derive the same old resultsMore articles appeared that tried to make unique and new points, and more articles were published that tried to increase our understanding of the real economic world.”

“Hal is inventive, irreverent, acerbic and a gentleman all at the same time,” writes Rogers. “Finally, Hal is not a ‘true believer’ in any particular approach or position; rather, he is open to being influenced by evidence. All of these qualities made being taught by him and conducting research with him a rich and memorable experience.”

Born in New Haven, Conn., in 1936, Hochman earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in economics from Yale University in 1957, 1959, and 1965, respectively. He taught as assistant professor of economics at the University of Virginia for four years, then served as senior research associate at the Urban Institute. In 1975, Hochman took a position in the department of economics and public administration at Baruch College, CUNY. In 1981, Hochman became director of the Center for the Study of Business and Government at Baruch. He also taught at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1980-81) and the University of Turin, Italy (1969 and 1988), and has made numerous other visits to these countries. Since 1992, Hochman has been William E. Simon Professor of Economics at Lafayette.

Categorized in: Academic News