William J. Baumol

William J. Baumol is the Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Stern School of Business at New York University; and senior economist and professor emeritus at Princeton University.

Professor Baumol’s primary areas of research include economic growth, entrepreneurship and innovation, industrial organization, antitrust economics and regulation, and economics of the arts. He is author of more than 40 books and more than 500 articles in professional journals and newspapers. His most recent books include The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn’t, 2012;  Economics: Principles and Policy,12th Edition (with Alan S. Blinder), 2011; The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship, 2010; The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times, 2010; Economics: Principles and Policy, 11th edition (with Alan S. Blinder), 2008; Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the Growth Mechanism of the Free-Enterprise Economies (with Eytan Sheshinski and Robert J. Strom), 2007;  Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (with Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm), 2007; Downsizing in America: Reality, Causes, and Consequences (with Alan S. Blinder and Edward N. Wolff), 2003; The Free-Market Innovation Machine: Analyzing the Growth Miracle of Capitalism, 2002; and Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests (with Ralph E. Gomory), 2000. 

Professor Baumol is the former president of the American Economic Association, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Eastern Economic Association and the Atlantic Economic Society. His honors and awards include twelve honorary degrees and membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei (Italy), and the British Academy. In May of 2009, two Chinese universities, Wuhan University and Zhejiang Gongshang University, named Centers for Entrepreneurial Research in Professor Baumol’s honor. 

Professor Baumol was born on February 26, 1922 in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Social Science from the College of the City of New York in 1942 and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of London in 1949. He has been teaching at NYU for more than 36 years and taught at Princeton University for 43 years, where he is now Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Economist.

Research Interests

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Economic Growth
  • Industrial Organization
  • Antitrust Economics and Regulation
  • Economics of the Arts

Courses Taught

  • Economic Principles
  • Workshop in Research on Entrepreneurship

Academic Background

Ph.D., 1949 University of London

B.S.S., 1942 College of the City of New York

By this expert

On The Career of a Microeconomist

Paper Journal article | | Jan 1983

An autobiographical paper by William J. Baumol, in which he recounts his academic life and career.  The paper is a contribution to a series of recollections and reflections on the professional experiences of distinguished economists which the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review (now PSL Quarterly Review) started in 1979.