Ralph Landau

Ralph Landau was the founder of Scientific Design Company, Inc., and received more than 50 honors and awards in his lifetime, including the National Medal of Technology, the Founders Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Chemical Industry Medal, and the Perkin Medal.

  • Uncaging Animal Spirits

    Uncaging Animal Spirits

    Essays on Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Economics

    Ralph Landau and Martha V. Gottron

    Uncaging Animal Spirits collects all of Landau's major papers from the last thirty years, covering his scientific discoveries, his views on innovation and entrepreneurship, his reflections on his own field of chemical engineering, and his research on the global marketplace, and on the relation of technology, innovation, and the economy.

    Chemical engineering has been one of the major high-tech growth industries of the post-World War II period, and one of the few in which U.S. companies have retained an international advantage over their competitors. As an engineer and entrepreneur, Ralph Landau played a large role in this success story. Uncaging Animal Spirits collects all of Landau's major papers from the last thirty years, covering his scientific discoveries, his views on innovation and entrepreneurship, his reflections on his own field of chemical engineering, and his research on the global marketplace, and on the relation of technology, innovation, and the economy. The emphasis throughout is on Landau's view of the status of entrepreneurship in the United States, as tempered by his experience in an international business and his many attempts to get the federal government to think seriously about its role in creating a reasonable playing field for entrepreneurs. As Landau developed his business, he became increasingly concerned about the extent to which government officials misunderstood (or didn't care about) the needs of technology-based industries and the relationship between technology and economic growth. When he sold his company in the early 1980s, Landau took on the task of educating himself in economic theory and educating economists, policy makers, and the government about this crucial relationship. He has established centers at Stanford and Harvard to focus attention on issues of technology and the economy.

    • Hardcover $60.00 £50.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Technology and Capital Formation

    Dale W. Jorgenson and Ralph Landau

    The contributions in this book bring a wealth of detailed empirical data and an unusually wide range of perspectives—from universities, government, and business—to bear on the exploration of this important interrelationship; they focus, in particular, on the role of capital in the production process.

    Capital formation is the most important source of economic growth, and investment in new capital interacts in key ways with the diffusion of new technology. The contributions in this book bring a wealth of detailed empirical data and an unusually wide range of perspectives—from universities, government, and business—to bear on the exploration of this important interrelationship; they focus, in particular, on the role of capital in the production process. Grouped into three broad categories, they take up the rate of technological advance and investment in computers, the relative efficiency of new and old capital goods, and the translation of capital formation into productive inputs in the private and government sectors of the U.S. economy.

    Dale W. Jorgenson looks at previous research to explain the controversy that began in the 1960s regarding capital as a factor of production. Computer prices are examined extensively and in great detail in two important studies by Ellen Dulberger and Robert Gordon, while Jack Triplett discusses the economic and engineering literature on the subject. Empirical research by Charles Hulten, James Robertson, and Frank Wykoff disproves the hypothesis that deterioration in the efficiency of older capital goods as a result of the 1970s energy crisis explains the subsequent slowdown in production growth. Wykoff offers a particularly rich study of the depreciation of business leased automobiles.

    Other Contributors Paul Pieper on the state of construction price statistics; Michael Harper, Ernst Berndt, and David Wood on alternative approaches to measuring the rate of return; John Strong on the market value of debt claims in U.S. financial markets; Dianne and Laurits Christensen, Carl Degen and Philip Schoech on the U.S. Postal Service; Michael Boskin, Marc Robinson and John Roberts on estimating federal government capital and net investment; and Ralph Landau on the interrelationship of technology and capital formation

    • Hardcover $60.00