The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Burns, Arthur Frank (1904–1987)

  • Geoffrey H. Moore
Reference work entry


Burns was born in Stanislau, Austria, on 27 April 1904. In 1914 his family emigrated to the United States, settling in Bayonne, New Jersey. Burns became a member of the economics faculty at Rutgers University in 1927, leaving in 1941 to accept an appointment at Columbia University, where he taught for many years and became John Bates Clark Professor of Economics Emeritus. He joined the staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York in 1930, was director of research, 1945–53, and president 1957–67. In Washington Burns served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, 1953–6; Counsellor to the President, 1969–70; chairman of the Federal Reserve System, 1970–78; and member of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board since 1981. From 1981 to 1985 he was US Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1978–80 and again after 1985 he was distinguished scholar in residence at the American Enterprise Institute.


Burns, A. F. Business cycle measurement Business cycles Council of Economic Advisers (USA) Economic Policy Advisory Board (USA) Federal Reserve System Mitchell, W. C. National Bureau of Economic Research 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey H. Moore
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