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Gross Domestic Product inventor Simon Kuznets' 1971 Nobel Prize sells for $390,848
The Nobel Prize comes with a letter of authenticity from Dr. Kuznets’ son Simon.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The 1971 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) inventor Simon Kuznets sold tonight for $390,848 at Nate D. Sanders Auctions. It was the first Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences to ever be auctioned and only the sixth Nobel Prize to ever go under the hammer. Interested bidders may participate in the auction online.

Unlike other famous economists, Kuznets utilized demography and statistics to infer the effects of population growth on national productivity. He authored important studies that quantified economic activity and its relationship to population increases, and immigration and internal population shifts. During World War II, his research at the Bureau of Planning and Statistics, War Production Board was instrumental in providing realistic estimates of national productivity for the defense effort.

Kuznets pioneered the Gross Domestic Product concept for a Congressional report in 1934. After the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, GDP became the primary tool for measuring a nation’s economic productivity. Kuznets also developed a macroeconomics-based measurement system, which the Commerce Department uses to estimate the gross national product The World Bank and private economists adapted Kuznets’ system to estimate economic growth in industrial and third-world countries.

Kuznets was born into a wealthy family of Jewish bankers in Byelorussia. He lived with his mother’s family in Rovno, Ukraine, but with the increase of anti-Semitism during World War I, the family moved to Kharkov where he received his secondary education. After the Russian Revolution, he obtained employment in gathering labor statistics in the Ukraine but was deported to Poland from which he immigrated to the United States in 1922. He received all his degrees from Columbia University where he studied under the tutelage of Wesley Mitchell who founded the National Bureau of Economic Research where Kuznets subsequently worked. He was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins and finally Harvard.

In 1971, the Swedish Royal Academy of Science awarded Dr. Kuznets the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for his ''empirically founded interpretation of economic growth, which has led to new and deepened insight into the economic and social structure and process of development.'' He was the third winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

The gold medal bears Alfred Nobel’s image and the engraving ''Sveriges Riksbank Till Alfred Nobels Minne 1968” on one side. The medal’s reverse side features the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ north star emblem with the engraved phrase “Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien.'' “Simon Kuznets 1971” is engraved on the medal edge. The medal is displayed in the original red leather case with Dr. Kuznets’ name gilt stamped.

The Nobel Prize comes with a letter of authenticity from Dr. Kuznets’ son Paul.

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