1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fisher, Irving

FISHER, IRVING (1867-), American economist, was born at Saugerties, N.Y., Feb. 27 1867. He studied at Yale (A.B. 1888), Berlin, and Paris. He at first taught mathematics at Yale; but in 1895 was made assistant professor of political economy, and in 1898 professor. He was editor of the Yale Review, 1896-1910. He served as chairman of many commissions dealing with public health, prohibition, and labour. An authority on money inflation, he proposed that the purchasing power of the dollar be stabilized (see Dollar Stabilization). His plan was to replace coined gold dollars by “gold bullion dollar certificates” which should command such weight of gold bullion as might legally be declared to constitute a dollar at that particular time. The weight of this ideal gold dollar would be adjusted at intervals in accordance with its power to purchase commodities as shown by the “index number” of prices.

His writings include: Mathematical Investigations in the Theory of Value and Prices (1892); Elements of Geometry (with A. W. Phillips, 1896); A Brief Introduction to the Infinitesimal Calculus (1897); The Nature of Capital and Income (1906); The Rate of Interest (1907); National Vitality (1909); The Purchasing Power of Money (1911); Elementary Principles of Economics (1913); Why is the Dollar Shrinking? (1914) and Stabilizing the Dollar (1919).