Guide to the Mark Perlman Papers, 1952-2001
The papers of university professor and economist Mark Perlman span the dates 1952-1994, with most of the papers being dated between 1967 and 1989. The papers consist chiefly of professional correspondence to and from Perlman, indexes to these letters and a small number of subject files, but include none of his personal papers. The collection documents Perlman's career as an economist and author at Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pittsburgh and reflects his interest in work arbitration, trade unions, and the economics of public health. Among correspondents are many noted economists, including Moses Abramovitz, Martin Shubik, and Martin Bronfenbrenner. While many of the letters are personal in nature, others contain considerable information about Perlman's work, particularly in the years around the publication of his works Judges in Industry: A Study of Labor Arbitration in Australia (1954) and Spatial, Regional, and Population Economics: Essays in Honor of Edgar M. Hoover (1972). Additional correspondence relates to the publication of the Journal of Economic Literature.
The correspondence during Perlman's early years at Cornell includes letters in which Perlman and his friends and colleagues discuss their work, their students, and academic life. These early letters also contain travel arrangements for a trip to Australia in connection with his book Judges in Industry and information regarding Perlman's research for the book.
During Perlman's years at Johns Hopkins (1955-1964), much of the correspondence between him and his colleagues concerned Perlman's writings on work arbitration and trade unions. It was during this period that Perlman's interest was drawn to the economics of public health, and his correspondence reflects this through dialogue with other economists and statisticians as well as through inquiries regarding his research and replies from organizations providing requested information. Correspondence also includes letters concerning academic administrative matters, such as recommendations for students and fellow faculty members.
The Journal of Economic Literature correspondence consists of correspondence relating to the publication of the journal, of which Perlman was the founder and editor from 1968 through 1981. The early letters contain information about the formation of the journal. While many letters concern subscription matters, others contain discussion of particular articles, and some have manuscripts attached.
A small series of Subject Files includes correspondence with printers who worked with Perlman on the publication of his monographic works as well as on the Journal of Economic Literature; Perlman's teaching material (including course outlines, syllabi, and tests); a file on seminars established at the University of Pittsburgh to address topics of interest to the cultural life and economy of the city; correspondence with the American Economic Association in Nashville, Tennessee; and printed material and research papers submitted to a conference of which Mark Perlman was on the Program Committee. The conference, entitled Human Resources, Employment, and Development, was held in Mexico in 1980.
Addition (acc# 1997-0208)(1500 items, 1.5 linear feet; dated 1991-1996) contains professional correspondence for 1995, an alphabetical index for all letters 1991-1996, and numerical indexes for correspondence during each year from 1991 to 1996.
Addition (acc# 1999-0188)(1200 items, 3 linear feet; dated 1996-1997) contains incoming and outgoing correspondence for 1996 and 1997, arranged in numerical order as assigned by Perlman. It also includes a chronological index for 1996-1997 correspondence, and an alphabetical index for letters dated 1991-1997.
Addition (acc# 2000-0098)(750 items, 1.5 linear feet; dated 1998) includes professional correspondence from 1998 and a printout of the numerical index for correspondence of that year. Also includes electronic numerical indexes for correspondence 1994-1999. Computer files have been migrated to the electronic records server.
Addition (acc# 2001-0071)(1000 items, 1.5 linear feet; dated 1999) is comprised of primarily personal and professional correspondence from 1999, with frequent reference to Perlman's writings and lectures and to other economists and their views. Also included on paper and as 6 electronic documents are correspondence indexes: a chronological index for 1999 and alphabetical indexes for the years 1991-1999. All indexes contain summaries of each letter's contents. The computer files have been migrated to the electronic records server. A container list was not created for this accession.
Addition (acc# 2002-0119)(750 items, 1.2 linear feet; dated 1991-2001) contains primarily personal and professional correspondence from 2000-2001. Also includes on paper and as 6 electronic documents an alphabetical index of correspondence for 1991-2001 with summaries of each letter's contents. A container list was not created for this accession.
- Collection Number
- Mark Perlman papers
- Perlman, Mark, 1923-2006
- 62.7 Linear Feet, 38,450 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Access to the Collection
Collection is open.
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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.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in the Mark Perlman Papers have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Consists of letters to and from Perlman chiefly concerning personal matters, academic affairs at the universities at which he taught; research for his books and articles; negotiations with publishers; and presentations and attendence at conferences. Letters occasionally include articles submitted to Perlman by other ecomomists for publication or proofreading. The correspondence series is arranged according to Perlman's original filing systems. Note: Box 35 contains alphabetical indexes to much of the correspondence.
Correspondence from Perlman's tenure at Cornell and Johns Hopkins is arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by the correspondents' last names within each year. This arrangement is continued through his first year at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Economics (1967-1968).
The remainder of the correspondence from the Department of Economics of the University of Pittsburgh is arranged in numeric order. Letters were given a two digit date representing the year, then numbered in sequence in order of receipt, resulting in a nearly chronological order.
Correspondence concerning the Journal of Economic Literature is arranged at the end of the series in numeric order. Letters were given a two digit date representing the year, then numbered in sequence in order of receipt, resulting in a nearly chronological order.
Printed material and correspondence concerning publications, courses taught by Perlman, and a conference in Mexico.
Arranged alphabetically by topic.
Indexes to material in the Correspondence Series include microfiches, computer printouts, and photocopied index cards. Indexes are alphabetical by name of the correspondent, and do not include all correspondents. There is no index for 1990.
Indexes are arranged chronologically.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin
BA and MA, University of Wisconsin
Ph.D., Columbia University
Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii
Assistant Professor, Cornell University
Editorial Board, Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Founder and editor of the Journal of Economic Literature
Visiting Fellow, Claire College, Cambridge
Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton University
Professor, Oesterreichische Laenderbank, Schumpeter University, Vienna
In his dissertation, Judges in Industry, Mark Perlman applied his interest in the development of American industrial government (and particularly in approaches to collective decision-making in industry) to the Australian Arbitration Court. This study concerned the role of employer and union organization as well as the cost and price structure of particular industries in getting the losing party to accept its awards. It was used in 1954 in the Boilermakers Case as the basis for finding the 50-year-old arbitration system unconstitutional. His next book, Labor Union Theories in America: Background and Development, and other early work dealt with the history, practices and theories of American labor unionism.
While at Johns Hopkins, Perlman became interested in the economics of public health with an emphasis on preventive health care. In 1963 he began his collaboration with Edgar M. Hoover on Spatial, Regional, and Population Economics: Essays in Honor of Edgar M. Hoover, a work concerned with demographic economics, and particularly with the lag in the profession's consciousness between the demographic empirical changes and the modification of theoretical models.
In 1969, Perlman founded the Journal of Economic Literature. He remained its managing editor for 12 years, commissioning subfield survey articles and developing a classification system for articles in economics.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Abramovitz, Moses
- Bronfenbrenner, Martin, 1914-1997
- Perlman, Mark, 1923-2006
- Perlman, Mark, 1923-2006
- Shubik, Martin
- Arbitration, Industrial -- Australia
- Arbitration, Industrial -- United States
- Economics -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States
- Economists -- United States
- Economists -- Correspondence
- Industrial relations -- Australia
- Industrial relations -- United States
- Labor unions
- Medical economics -- United States
- Public health -- United States -- Finance
The papers of Mark Perlman were donated to Duke University in several installments from 1992 to 2002.
Processed by: Melissa Delbridge, Lisa Stark, Joann Kleinneuir, Keary Warner
Completed June 26, 1996
Last Updated November 15, 2002
Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller and Cat Saleeby