Hendrik Houthakker, Clark Medalist 1963
Citation of the Occasion of the Presentation of the Medal by Edward S. Mason
Every other year the American Economic Association awards the John Bates Clark Medal "to that economist under the age of forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge." The award is made by a joint vote of the Association's Executive Committee and its Committee on Honors and Awards. This year the recipient of the medal is Professor Hendrik S. Houthakker of Harvard University.
Outstanding among Professor Houthakker's many contributions, both theoretical and empirical, are those he has made on the subject of consumers' expenditures. A particularly noteworthy characteristic of this work is the wvay in which the theoretical and empirical aspects are intertwined. As he himself has written:
If the theory of consumer's choice is to be more closely integrated with empirical demand research . . . it needs to be both generalized and specialized. Generalization is needed to deal with phenomena . . . that are outside the scope of the classical assumption; specialization is needed to give more substance, and hence more verifiability, to the very general theories that have traditionally been the theorist's stock-in-trade, and to enable the formulation of additional theories based on less general, but perhaps equally realistic, hypotheses. These . . . in turn provide new impetus and direction to empirical analysis.
Professor Houthakker has contributed significantly to the generalization of demand theory and to its extension to new realms in his work on revealed preference, rationing, and quality variations. He has contributed to the specialization of the theory, and thereby added to its significance for empirical research, in his papers on indirect utility, direct additivity, and systems of demand functions. In addition to these important and extensive contributions to the subject of consumer demand, he has brought econometric methods to bear on a number of important policy issues and problems.
On behalf of the American Economic Association, I have the privilege and the pleasure of presenting the John Bates Clark Medal to Hendrik S. Houthakker.