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Morris Adelman, MIT economics faculty member for more than six decades, dies at 96

Known for influential research in industrial organization and energy economics.
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Morris Adelman, professor emeritus of economics, in the 1950s
Morris Adelman, professor emeritus of economics, in the 1950s
Courtesy of the Department of Economics

Morris Adelman, an MIT economics faculty member for more than six decades, passed away on May 8 at the age of 96. 

Adelman made important contributions in both industrial organization and energy economics. He was known for his landmark 1955 study of vertical integration, which described both the economic consequences of integration and the difficulty of measuring it, and for his 1959 analysis of the cost structure of the A&P supermarket chain, which argued that this pathbreaking national grocery chain achieved lower prices because of cost advantages over smaller rivals, not because of anticompetitive pricing. 

In the 1960s and 1970s, Adelman turned his attention to energy economics. His 1972 classic, "World Petroleum Markets," offered a careful analysis of the sustainability of cartel pricing by OPEC and an optimistic long-term outlook for competition in the global oil market.

Adelman was an undergraduate at City College of New York, from which he graduated in 1938. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1948. He came to MIT in 1948 as part of the postwar expansion of the MIT Department of Economics, and remained affiliated with MIT for the next 65 years. After retiring, he remained actively involved with the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.

Press Mentions

The New York Times

Douglas Martin writes for The New York Times about the late Professor Morris Adelman who died at his home in Newton on May 8. Adelman spent six decades as a faculty member in the MIT economics department.

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