Guide to the William J. Baumol Papers, circa 1940-1995 (bulk 1950-1990)
The professional papers of William Baumol are representative of his career as an academic economist and consultant to industry and government. The collection dates from his appointment to the Department of Economics, Princeton University in 1949 until his retirement in 1992 and covers nearly all of his research interests. Some earlier material (1940s) includes notebooks from the London School of Economics (LSE) and papers prepared for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bulk of the collection dates from 1950 to 1970 and 1975 to 1990. Materials take the form of correspondence with other economists concerning publications or works in progress; manuscript drafts and galleys; papers prepared for conferences and special lectures; research materials (including notes, materials produced by others, data and other statistical output); special project reports, including grant proposals; teaching materials (lecture notes, exams, course syllabi); material relating to industry consulting work, legal testimony and some printed material.
The contents of the collection display Baumol's diverse interests as an economist. Early material is concerned mainly with dynamic systems and their mathematical expression as well as welfare economics and externalities. His work (with his undergraduate student and future Nobel Prize winner, G.S. Becker) on Classical Monetary Theory is also represented. The outcome of Baumol's role as consultant to industry (in connection with the firms Alderson and Sessions, Mathematica, and Consultants in Industry Economics) is manifest in his work on the behavior of firms and industry structure. Reports prepared for Alderson and Sessions, Mathematica, and Consultants in Industry Economics, as well as drafts of papers relating the business activities of firms to economic theory, including his work on the "sales maximization hypothesis," are contained within the collection.
Other subjects include fairness theory, environmental economics, and the development of his "cost disease model" and "unbalanced growth model" which attempt to explain the fiscal problems of the performing arts, educational systems, etc. Much of his work on the finances of the performing arts was undertaken with his wife, Hilda Baumol. In addition, the collection contains material related to his professional involvement with the American Economic Association, the Eastern Economic Association, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and the American Association of University Professors. The collection also contains legal testimony and reports prepared as an expert witness in antitrust cases before the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, among many others.
Correspondents and chief protagonists during Baumol's long career represent many notable economists, including colleagues from the London School of Economics and other English economists, David Finch, Frank Hahn, Jan de van Graaf, Friederich Hayek, Sir John Hicks, Nicholas Kaldor, James Meade, Dennis H. Robertson, Lord Lionel Robbins, and Ralph Turvey; Nobel prize winners G.S. Becker, Milton Friedman, and Paul Samuelson; other prominent twentieth century economists including Robert Dorfman and Don Patinkin; Princeton colleagues Jacob Viner and Harvey Leibenstein; frequent co-authors Elizabeth Bailey and Dietrich Fischer; in addition to former students, Samuel Hollander and Richard Quandt. Also represented are industry leaders from telecommunications, transportation, and public utility sectors. Researchers should note the possibility of cross-referencing with other collections included in the Economists' Papers Project, for example, with the Don Patinkin Papers on the subject of Classical Monetary Theory.
The collection is organized into four series, some of which are further divided into associated subseries: Correspondence, Writings, Subject Files, and Legal Testimony.
The Correspondence Series includes the subseries Correspondence Alphabetical, Correspondence by Subject, and Correspondence by Date. Researchers should note that in addition to letters, other material such as drafts of papers sent to Baumol, clippings, and book reviews are included within the series. The material in the Correspondence Alphabetical Subseries covers the early part of Baumol's career, 1943-1968, with the bulk of it dating from the 1950s. Topics covered are representative of his early research interests or those of his correspondents, who for the most part were British colleagues from Baumol's graduate studies at the LSE. The researcher will find that this series is a likely source for viewing the development and formulation of Baumol's ideas as well as his comments on the theories of others. The most substantive correspondence (with more than twenty letters exchanged for each) is between Gary Becker, Robert Dorfman, David Finch, Jan de v. Graaf, Frank Hahn, Don Patinkin, and Paul Samuelson. Much of the correspondence contains copies of both letters to and from Baumol, although there are exceptions to this, particularly for the earlier letters. The last two subseries, Correspondence by Subject and Correspondence by Date, overlap somewhat in terms of the period covered (1952-1984 for the first, and 1974-1990 for the second). The Correspondence by Subject Subseries deals mostly with Baumol's professional activities with the American Economic Association and his other professional activities, including tenure reviews and other recommendations, with notable exceptions in correspondence files for Areeda-Turner (on predatory pricing), Samuelson-Dorfman (on Marx), and Hollander (on Classical economics). Because of the sensitive nature of some materials in the Subject Subseries, researchers using them must sign a release form provided by Research Services staff. The Correspondence by Date Subseries covers a variety of topics but deals mostly with requests for papers or with the details of various engagements.
The Writings Series includes drafts, galley proofs, handwritten notes, correspondence relating to publisher's contracts, and final versions of many of Baumol's published writings, as well as some unpublished and working papers. While the collection does not contain a complete set of Baumol's hundreds of publications, the Writings Series is representative of his diverse research interests and his prolific writing ability. In an effort to preserve the original organization of the Baumol papers, this series is chronological as opposed to organized by subject. Hence, the researcher interested in constructing the process of Baumol's contributions to the theory of, say, Industry Structure, would be advised to consult the Subject Series for teaching materials or research files and the Correspondence Series for a more complete picture.
The Subject Files Series is organized into the following subseries: Project Files, Teaching Materials, and Research Files. The Project Files Subseries is arranged by subject and includes reports prepared for industry consulting to firms such as Southern Railways (1963-65), General Foods (1963) and Morgan Stanley (1963-64); projects on Fairness, Scale Economies, and the Performing Arts; and testimony prepared for government Senate and House of Representatives subcommittees. The bulk of the material is from 1975-1985. The Teaching Material Subseries includes four undated notebooks from Baumol's student days, lecture notes on Dynamics and Welfare Theory (the notes which formed the basis for his first published book and his Ph.D. thesis) and a copy of Lord Robbins' lecture on Classical Economics. The Research Files Subseries is organized by subject: History of Economics, Industrial Organization, Fairness, Productivity/Entrepreneurship, and General.
The Legal Testimony Series contains voluminous records of legal proceedings in which Baumol played a key role as a consultant or witness. The series is organized by the regulatory or legal body involved in legal proceedings: Civil Actions Subseries, Federal Communications Commission Subseries, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Subseries, Federal Trade Commission Subseries, Interstate Commerce Commission Subseries, Public Utilities Subseries, Tax Court Subseries, and Miscellaneous. The material within each subseries is arranged chronologically. There are restricted materials in this series. Some of the materials are clearly marked as attorney-client privileged information (where the client is a major firm) or sealed by the court in question. It is impossible, without going through every item, to ensure an exhaustive list of material that might compromise certain industry secrets or other privileged information; therefore, the researcher using this series must sign a release form provided by the reference staff.
The addition to the collection (2001-0169)(11,825 items, 19.20 linear feet, dated 1964-1995 and undated) contains professional papers including correspondence, reviews, consulting files, lecture notes, drafts of writings, grant files, and three black-and-white transparencies. Revisions of Baumol's writings on productivity and his books Economics: Principles and Policy and Productivity and American Leadership: The Long View are represented among the drafts.
The addition to the collection (2001-0170)(2000 items, 5 linear feet, dated 1974-1990) holds files containing or regarding reviews, recommendations, proposals, engagements, and other correspondence. Subjects include the World Resources Institute, the Eastern Economic Association, and the manuscript of "On Finances of the Performing Arts during Stagflation." There are also 114 floppy disks of graphs and texts for writings by Baumol as well as one reel-to-reel audiotape.
- William J. Baumol Papers circa 1940-1995 (bulk 1950-1990)
- Baumol, William J.
- 70.7 Linear Feet , 54,675 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Material within each folder is not in date order. Includes both to and from correspondence except for some of the earlier correspondence and where noted below. Also includes drafts of papers, book reviews, clippings and other materials sent to Baumol. All folder titles are the original titles. Some Correspondence By Subject Subseries materials are restricted: they are open to research, but patrons must sign a release form before using them.
The names listed below indicate that several substantive letters were exchanged.
Material is not in date order.
Includes notes, drafts, correspondence and comments of others, final versions, publisher's contracts, and reviews. Folder titles and dates refer to the publication in question. Arranged chronologically.
Includes grants, proposals, reports, and statistical data output. Folder titles are the originals except for the Government, Industry, and Performing Arts files, since most of this material was received as loose papers. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Includes lecture notes, course syllabi, exams and problem sets. Arranged alphabetically.
Includes sworn testimony, affidavits, drafts, correspondence and papers prepared for counsel. Arranged by date. Material that was clearly marked "privileged and confidential" is noted below; however, without examining every document, it is impossible to conclude that the list is complete or that other documents do not make reference to the confidential material. Researchers wishing to use this series must sign a release form provided by the reference staff.
Note: Dockets 16258 are "Qualified Proceedings".
Processing note: box ranges denote the full contents of original record storage boxes. Brackets surrounding box contents denote archivist-supplied titles. Non-bracketed titles denote either an archivist-imposed narrative description of the contents of each box or a title given the box by Baumol.
Some of the materials in this addition are not immediately accessible, because they require further processing before use. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the Rubenstein Library to use this collection.
Boxes 2-3 and 12-14 contain sensitive material. Patron must sign a release form before use. Contact a Reference Archivist.
[Some legal sized material from box 2 removed to legal-sized box 32.]
Correspondence and drafts of each chapter of Economics: Principles and Policy
Also includes biographical information in box 6.
Needs more processing before use: reformat newspaper clippings in boxes 5 and 6.
Mainly Pew Charitable Trust and National Science Foundation.
Needs more processing before use: remove materials from envelope in box 7; reformat newspaper clippings in box 8.
Includes testimony for air passenger computer reservation systems antitrust litigation case in box 12.
Including "Sue Anne's Files."
Includes drafts of essays and newspaper articles.
[Some legal-sized material from box 28 removed to legal-sized box 32.]
[Removed from box 2.]
[Removed from box 28.]
Some of the materials in this addition are not immediately accessible because they require further processing before use. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the Rubenstein Library to use this collection.
Boxes 1, 5-7 contain sensitive material. Patron must sign a release form before use. Contact a Reference Archivist.
[One computer disk from folder 3 of "unnamed" removed to box 9.]
|1922, February 26||Born in New York, N.Y.|
|1936-1938||Attended first formal art classes sponsored by the Works Progress Administration.|
|1942||BSS, College of the City of New York; organized extracurricular classes on microeconomics.|
|1942-1943 and 1946||Junior Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture.|
|1943-1945||Served in U.S. Army, stationed in France.|
|1946-1949||London School of Economics; Graduate Student and Assistant Lecturer in American Economy and Economic Dynamics. (Lecture notes for the latter formed the basis for his first published book, Economic Dynamics, 1951, 1959, 1970).|
|1949||Completed University of London Ph. D. thesis, later published as Welfare Economics and the Theory of the State, 1952, 1965. Ph.D. examiners were Marcus Flemming and Lord Lionel Robbins.|
|1949-1953||Associate Professor of Economics, Princeton University.|
|1954-1992||Professor of Economics, Princeton University.|
|1959||Publication of Business Behavior, Value and Growth (second edition 1966).|
|1961||Publication of Economic Theory and Operations Analysis (later editions in 1965, 1972, 1976).|
|1962-1970||Chairman, Committee on the Economic Status of the Profession, American Association of University Professors.|
|1966||Publication with W.G. Bowen of Performing Arts: The Economic Dilemma.|
|1967-1975||Past Chairman and member, Economic Policy Council, State of New Jersey.|
|1968-1970||Vice-President, American Association of University Professors.|
|1971-current||Professor of Economics and Director, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.|
|1975||Publication with W.E. Oates of The Theory of Environmental Policy, (second edition 1988).|
|1978||President, Eastern Economics Association.|
|1978-1979||President, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.|
|1979||Publication with A.S. Blinder of the first edition of introductory textbook, Economics: Principles and Policies. Later editions in 1982, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1994, and 1998.|
|1981||President, American Economics Association.|
|1982||Publication with J.C. Panzar and R.D. Willig of Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure (second edition 1982).|
|1984||Editor with wife, Hilda Baumol, of Inflation and the Performing Arts.|
|1986||Publication of Superfairness: Applications and Theory.|
|1992-current||Senior Research Economist and Professor Emeritus of Economics, Princeton University.|
- Baumol, William J.
- Baumol, Hilda, 1923-
- Hahn, Frank
- Graaff, J. de V.
- Hayek, Friedrich A. von (Friedrich August), 1899-
- Hicks, John Richard, Sir, 1904-
- Kaldor, Nicholas, 1908-1986
- Meade, J. E. (James Edward), 1907-
- Robertson, Dennis Holme, Sir, 1890-1963
- Robbins, Lionel Robbins, Baron, 1898-1984
- Turvey, Ralph
- Becker, Gary Stanley, 1930-
- Friedman, Milton, 1912-
- Samuelson, Paul Anthony, 1915-
- Dorfman, Robert
- Patinkin, Don
- Viner, Jacob, 1892-1970
- Leibenstein, Harvey
- United States. Federal Communications Commission
- United States. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
- United States. Interstate Commerce Commission
- Economists-United States-Correspondence
- Electric utilities-Rates
- Railroad companies-Rates
- Mathematical economics
- Welfare economics
- Monetary policy
- Antitrust investigations-United States
- Labor economics
- Statics and dynamics (Social sciences)
- Industrial productivity
- Performing arts-Finance
- Performing arts-United States-Finance
- Distributive justice
- Environmental economics
- Public utilities-United States-Law and legislation
- Telephone companies-Rates
- Environmental policy-Economic aspects
- Machine-readable records
[Identification of item], William J. Baumol Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
The papers of William J. Baumol, noted Princeton and New York University economist, were received as a gift to the Special Collections Library in 1995 and 2001.
Processed by Shauna Saunders and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico
Completed April 27, 2000
Additions minimally processed by Ann G. Langford and Sue-Ellen Katz.
Last updated October 29, 2001
Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Lisa Stark, and Ruth E. Bryan
This finding aid in NCEAD compliant.