Afterword: About Lance Davis  pp. 319-336

Afterword: About Lance Davis

By Stanley L. Engerman, Philip T. Hoffman, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal and Kenneth L. Sokoloff

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Whether delivering advice to students and colleagues, hiking in the mountains, touring through Europe, or bringing a research program to publication, Lance Edwin Davis has always favored a rapid and sustained pace. And as his many friends can attest, this is the way he has organized and balanced the professional and personal sides of his life. His scholarly writings began with a co-authored book basically completed while in graduate school, continued with two more coauthored books within eighteen months of his Ph. D., and he has seldom paused to rest. Even more impressive, perhaps, is that virtually all of his work has been pioneering and fundamental.

Although Davis has written on diverse subjects, in a sense almost all were of concern to him early in his career: the mobilization and allocation of capital, institutional change, the role of government, and the nature of technical change. The young Davis was also distinguished by a strong belief in the advantages of an economic approach to historical problems and for his proselytizing for cliometrics and the New Economic History. These convictions and commitment are evident in the Davis, Hughes, and McDougall textbook, American Economic History: The Development of a National Economy, and in his editorial work on the multiauthored American Economic Growth: An Economist's History of the United States. From the first, Davis was interested in building a model of economic growth that would be able to both account for the past and be useful in understanding the present.

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