Lester G. Telser

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Lester G. Telser
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
Iowa State College
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
Roosevelt University
Milton Friedman

Lester Greenspan Telser (born January 3, 1931 in Chicago) is an American economist and Professor Emeritus in Economics at the University of Chicago.[1]

Education and career[edit]

He is a native of the Hyde Park neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago and a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools (Charles Kozminski elementary school and Hyde Park High School (now Hyde Park Academy High School)) and Roosevelt University, where he studied under Abba Lerner, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1956, with Milton Friedman as his principal thesis supervisor.[2] He taught briefly at Iowa State University and was conscripted into the United States Army in which he served from 1956–1958, he has been a member of the University of Chicago faculty since 1958 (now emeritus).[1] He was a visitor at the Cowles Foundation (which had formerly been at the University of Chicago) at Yale University in 1964–1965 and at the Center for Operations Research in Econometrics (CORE) at the Catholic University of Louvain (Université catholique de Louvain) in Louvain (Leuven, Belgium) in 1969–1970.


His works include research on the theory of the core, Federal Reserve policy, and integer programming.[1][3] Unusually for the Chicago school of economics, he also wrote about game theory as early as 1972.[4]

A brief, personal history by Lester Telser of the University of Chicago Economics Department including the importance of the Cowles Foundation is available as part of a symposium on "Living the Legacy: Chicago Economics through the Years."[5] His first name is an anagram of his surname.

Awards and honors[edit]

He has been a Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Statistical Association since 1968.[6][7]


  • Functional Analysis in Mathematical Economics: Optimization Over Infinite Horizons (with Robert L. Graves, 1972).[8]
  • Competition, Collusion, and Game Theory (1972).[9]
  • Economic Theory and the Core (1978).[10]
  • A Theory of Efficient Cooperation and Competition (1987).[11]
  • Theories of Competition (1988).[12]
  • Joint Ventures of Labor and Capital (1997).[13]
  • Classic Futures: Lessons from the Past for the Electronic Age.[14]
  • The Core Theory in Economics: Problems and Solutions (2007).[15]


  1. ^ a b c Faculty listing Archived 2006-08-11 at the Wayback Machine, University of Chicago Economics Department, retrieved 2010-01-07.
  2. ^ Ebenstein, Lanny (2007). Milton Friedman: A Biography. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 89. ISBN 9780230603455.
  3. ^ "Lester G. Telser". JSTOR.
  4. ^ The Chicago School Archived 2010-02-04 at the Wayback Machine, History of Economic Thought web site, The New School, retrieved 2010-01-07.
  5. ^ "Living the Legacy: Chicago Economics through the Years". Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  6. ^ Fellows of the Econometric Society as of July 2009 Archived December 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2010-01-07.
  7. ^ ASA Fellows, retrieved 2010-01-07.
  8. ^ University of Chicago Press, 1972, ISBN 978-0-226-79190-6.
  9. ^ Macmillan, 1972, ISBN 978-0-333-13644-7; Aldine treatises in modern economics, 1972, ISBN 978-0-202-06043-9; Transaction, 2007, ISBN 978-0-202-30925-5.
  10. ^ University of Chicago Press, 1987, ISBN 978-0-226-79191-3. University of Chicago Press, 1988, ISBN 978-0-226-79193-7.
  11. ^ Cambridge University Press, 1987, ISBN 978-0-521-30619-5. Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-521-02220-0.
  12. ^ North-Holland, 1988, ISBN 978-0-444-01248-7.
  13. ^ University of Michigan Press, 1997, ISBN 978-0-472-10866-4.
  14. ^ Risk, 2000, ISBN 978-1-899332-92-2.
  15. ^ Routledge, 2007, ISBN 978-0-415-70144-0; Taylor and Francis, 2009, ISBN 978-0-415-49365-9.