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Hughes, Jonathan R. T.



Jonathan Roberts Tyson Hughes was born on April 23, 1928 in Wenatchee, Washington. He attended primary and secondary schools in Twin Falls, Idaho and in 1950 obtained his B.S. in economics from Utah State University. Hughes was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington from 1950 to 1952. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1952 and attended Queen's College, Oxford, England from 1952 until 1955 when he received his Doctor of Philosophy (in economics) degree from Oxford University.

From March 1955 to August 1956, Hughes was an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In 1957 he became an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at Purdue University; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1958, and became a full professor in 1961.

During his tenure at Purdue, Hughes was also a visiting Assistant Professor in the Graduate Economics Department at Columbia University (1957-1958), and a visitor of Nuffield College, Oxford (1962-1963). He was chair of the Economics Department Policy Committee (1963-1964), a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Economic History (1961-1965) and a trustee of the Economic History Association (1962-1966). In 1960, he received a Guggenheim fellowship which allowed him to conduct research in England on the North Atlantic economy.

On September 1, 1966, Hughes joined the faculty of Northwestern University as a Professor of Economics. He was a member of the Council of Research in Economic History (1968-1972), a visiting professor at the University of Colorado during the summer of 1968, a Ford Foundation Faculty Fellow (1971-1972), a visiting Fellow of All Souls College in Oxford (1971-1972) and Chair of the Economics Department of Northwestern, 1972 to 1974.

Hughes delivered numerous public lectures over the years and was a seminar lecturer at many colleges and universities including Virginia Polytechnic and State University (1978), College of Notre Dame (1979 and 1981), Claremont College (1980) and Wabash College (1983). From 1980 to 1981, he was the president of the Economic History Association.

From January to June, 1981, Hughes was a visiting professor of Economics and a Ford Foundation Research Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He was elected to Northwestern's Faculty Honor Roll in 1988, and in 1990, he became the first Robert and Emily King Professor of Business Institutions.

In June, 1990, Hughes was awarded an honorary Doctor of Social Science degree from Utah State University and in November of that year, he received the Kenan Prize for his work on the role of entrepreneurship in the development of the American economy.

Hughes was a founder of the field of Cliometrics, which uses statistical and mathematical methods to study and evaluate economic history. He authored many books and articles with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

In 1989, Hughes was recognized at a special session of the Economic History Association annual meeting for his contribution to the field. At that time he was presented with a volume of essays written by students and colleagues in his honor.

Hughes married Mary Gray Stilwell in 1953, and the couple had three children: Benjamin, Charis Barasch and Margaret.

On May 30, 1992, Hughes died of cancer in his home in Evanston, Illinois.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Jonathan R. T. Hughes (1928-1992) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/10/10
Abstract Jonathan R. T. Huges was an American economist. His accomplishments include working at the Federal Reserve Bank, teaching appointments at Purdue University, Columbia University, and Nuffield College, Oxford. He was a Rhoades Scholar, delivered numerous public speeches and published many articles. In September, 1966 he joined Northwestern’s faculty. He would later be appointed to Chair of the Economics Department at Northwestern from 1972 – 1974.Hughes was a founder of the field...
Dates: 1949-1992