Julian L. Simon

Short Biography

Julian L. Simon teaches Business Administration at the University of Maryland and is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. His main interest is the economic effects of population changes. The Ultimate Resource (now The Ultimate Resource 2) and Population Matters discuss trends in the United States and the world with respect to resources, environment, and population and the interactions between them. Simon concludes that there is no reason why material life on earth should not continue to improve, and that increasing population contributes to that improvement in the long run. Those popularly-written books develop ideas introduced in the l977 technical book, The Economics of Population Growth and supported by the 1984 The Resourceful Earth (edited with Herman Kahn), the 1986 Population and Economic Growth Theory, and the 1992 Population and Development in Poor Countries.

The 1989 The Economic Consequences of Immigration provides theory and data which lead to the conclusion that on balance immigrants to the United States make citizens richer rather than poorer.

His most recent books are the edited The State of Humanity (November, 1995), and The Ultimate Resource 2 (November, 1996).

Simon has also written on a variety of other subjects, including statistics, research methods, the economics of advertising, and managerial economics. His other books include How To Start and Operate A Mail Order Business, Basic Research Methods in Social Science, Issues in the Economics of Advertising, The Management of Advertising, Applied Managerial Economics, Patterns of Use of Books in Large Research Libraries (with H. H. Fussler), Effort, Opportunity, and Wealth, and Good Mood: The New Psychology for Overcoming Depression. He is the author of almost two hundred professional studies in technical journals, and he has written dozens of articles in such mass media as Atlantic Monthly, Readers Digest, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Simon worked in business and ran his own mail-order firm before becoming a professor, and has also been a naval officer. He is the inventor of the airline overbooking plan, in use since 1978 on all U.S. airlines, which solves the overbooking problem by calling for volunteers instead of bumping people involuntarily. He has dis- cussed his work on such programs as Today, Good Morning America, Firing Line, Wall Street Week, National Public Radio, national television in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Israel, and other foreign countries.


Remembering Julian Simon
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Edited by: Matthew Munsey (MMunsey@MIT.edu)
Last updated: June 4, 1998