Author

Thorstein Veblen cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Thorstein Veblen

American academic

1857   -   1929

country of citizenship: United States of America, Norway
language of expression: English, Norwegian
educated at: Johns Hopkins University, Carleton College, Yale University
occupation: economist, sociologist, writer, University professor
award received: John Addison Porter Prize

Thorstein Bunde Veblen (July 30, 1857 – August 3, 1929) was an American economist and sociologist who, during his lifetime, emerged as a well-known critic of capitalism. In his best-known book, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), Veblen coined the concepts of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure. Historians of economics regard Veblen as the founding father of the institutional economics school. Contemporary economists still theorize Veblen's distinction between "institutions" and "technology", known as the Veblenian dichotomy. As a leading intellectual of the Progressive Era in the US, Veblen attacked production for profit. His emphasis on conspicuous consumption greatly influenced economists who engaged in non-Marxist critiques of fascism, capitalism, and of technological determinism.
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