Dr Ken Snowden
Professor of Economics
Modern economic growth: rate, structure, and spread
by Simon Kuznets
Kuznets book represents the culmination of a two-decade long research effort to measure and characterize the revolution in economic performance that began in the eighteenth century to increase living standards to heights that were previously unimaginable. In doing so he established the framework within which I, as well as every other economist, pursue the most important issue in our discipline--how and why productivity grows and poverty is eliminated. For this accomplishment, and others, Kuznets received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1971. My own career goals and acomplishments have been more modest in scope and impact, but throughout the years I have tried to emulate Kuznets in two key dimensions. First, I chose an area of scholarship that was previously neglected--the historical development of the US mortgage market--and have spent more than two decades trying to identify and investigate important issues in that field. Second, I have used Kuznets' legendary attention to detail and uncompromising transparency as an ideal to strive for in my own scholarship. I never met Simon Kuznets, but he taught me very well.