Bairoch, Paul (1930–1999)
Paul Bairoch was born in Antwerp in 1930. He was the son of a Jewish family that emigrated from Poland to Belgium in the 1920s, and that later went into exile in a small village in the Gers, France, during the Second World War. After the war, Bairoch moved to Brussels, later spent a short period in Israel, and upon his return to Belgium began to study economic history. While a research fellow at the University of Brussels, Bairoch developed statistical time series on the national statistics of Belgium, worked on his doctorate, and in 1963, presented his thesis, ‘The Starting Process of Economic Growth’. He then went on to teach in a number of universities and even worked at General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) for a time. From 1972 onwards, Bairoch was a member of the faculty at the University of Geneva, where he was director of the Center of International Economic History until his death in 1999.