The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Director, Aaron (1901–2004)

  • Steven G. Medema
Reference work entry


Aaron Director’s enduring contribution to economics came via his role in the development of the Chicago law and economics tradition. Director was born in Charterisk (in present-day Ukraine) in 1901 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1913. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his graduate training at the University of Chicago. Although he came to Chicago in 1927 to work with Paul Douglas on labour economics, it was Frank Knight and Jacob Viner who, via their price theory courses, had the greatest influence on him. Director remained at Chicago as a graduate student and part-time instructor until 1934. The 1930s were a heady period at Chicago, where the student body included George Stigler, Paul Samuelson (who credits Director’s teaching with stimulating his interest in economics), and Milton Friedman – each of whom helped to reshape economic thinking in the middle third of the 20th century – as well as Rose Director (Aaron’s sister and, eventually, Rose Friedman). Aaron Director was very much part of this milieu. He left the University of Chicago for the US Treasury Department in 1934 and, save for an aborted attempt to complete a dissertation on the history of the Bank of England, remained in Washington, DC, until 1946, when he returned to the University of Chicago to take up a position in the Law School, where he remained until his retirement in 1966.


Antitrust Cartels Director, A. Law and economics Oligopoly Posner, R. Predatory pricing Resale price maintenance Tie-in sales 

JEL Classifications

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bork, R.H. 1967. Antitrust and monopoly: The goals of antitrust policy. American Economic Review 57: 242–253.Google Scholar
  2. Bork, R.H., and W.S. Bowman Jr. 1965. The crisis in antitrust. Columbia Law Review 65: 363–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowman, W.S. Jr. 1957. Tying arrangements and the leverage problem. Yale Law Journal 67: 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burnstein, M.L. 1960. The economics of tie-in sales. Review of Economics and Statistics 42: 68–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coase, R.H. 1998. Director, Aaron. In The new palgrave dictionary of economics and the law. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  6. Hovenkamp, H. 1986. Chicago and its alternatives. Duke Law Journal 1986: 1014–1029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kitch, E.W. 1983. The fire of truth: a remembrance of Law and Economics at Chicago, 1932–1970. Journal of Law and Economics 26: 163–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. McGee, J.S. 1958. Predatory price cutting: The standard oil (NJ) case. Journal of Law and Economics 1: 137s–1369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Peltzman, S. 2005. Aaron Director’s influence on antitrust policy. Journal of Law and Economics 48: 313–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Posner, R.A. 1969. Oligopoly and the antitrust laws: A suggested approach. Stanford Law Review 21: 1562–1606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Stigler, S.M. 2005. Aaron Director remembered. Journal of Law and Economics 48: 307–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Telser, L.G. 1960. Why should manufacturers want fair trade? Journal of Law and Economics 3: 86–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven G. Medema
    • 1
  1. 1.