Simon Smith Kuznets
Simon Smith Kuznets was born in Pinsk (present-day Brest region, Belarus) in 1901. Simon was a middle son in the family.
His father Abram Kuznets, who was a fur trader, left the family in 1907 and went to the USA to search better job. He wanted to invite the family but the First World War broke his plans.
Only in 1922 Simon and his older brother went to the USA after receiving Polish citizenship in 1921. By this time Simon finished urban real school where also the first president of Israel Chaim Weizmann had studied before.
In the USA Simon Kuznets immediately changed his surname to Smith. He joined the senior course at Columbia University and graduated in 1924 with a degree of Master of Economics. Two years later he received the Ph. D.
Over three decades Simon Kuznets has led the program for the study of national income to the National Bureau of Economic Research, taught at many universities in the country, worked at Harvard for 11 years.
There is little information about Simon’s childhood in Pinsk. But Pinsk’s residents know perfectly huge contribution to the world economy that their famous countryman made. A well-known term "gross national product" (GNP) was discovered by Kuznets and his proposed method of determination of national income is still used in official US statistics. He was the pioneer in the science opening the role of "human factor" in the development of the economy. Kuznets used in his studies different giant empirical material which covers a long historical periods. The scientist also made a comparative historical analyses of the economic development of countries. In his works Kuznets expressed the idea of interaction of science, technology and institutional shifts and their impact on the progress and results of economic growth. Simon Kuznets died in Cambridge (Massachusetts) on July 8, 1985.
The name of Nobel laureate Simon Smith Kuznets was given to Pinsk comprehensive school "Beis-Aharon" in 2007. Maybe someone from the students at the school will continue the proud tradition and the name of another native of Belarus will join the encyclopedia article about Nobel Prize winners.