The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Herskovits, Melville Jean (1895–1963)

  • George Dalton
Reference work entry


Herskovits was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, and died in Evanston, Illinois. He studied history at the University of Chicago (BA, 1920) and anthropology at Columbia University (Ph.D., 1923) as a student of Franz Boas. He taught at Columbia and Howard universities before going to Northwestern in 1927, where he spent the rest of his academic career. Herskovits did anthropological fieldwork in West Africa, the Caribbean and Brazil, and was among the first American anthropologists to specialize in African societies as well as blacks in the Caribbean and the United States. He started the first Program of African Studies in the United States, at Northwestern.


Conventional economics Economic anthropology Formalism Herskovits, M. J. Knight, F. H. Marxism Non-market economies Polanyi, K. Substantivism 

JEL Classifications

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  5. Simpson, G.E. 1973. Melville J. Herskovits. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Dalton
    • 1
  1. 1.