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Komlos, John

John Komlos is Professor Emeritus of Economics and of Economic History at the University of Munich and has taught at such other institutions as Harvard, Duke, and the University of Vienna. Born in Budapest - just as the Russian army began its assault on the city in 1944, he became a refugee twelve years later during the revolution of 1956, and grew up in Chicago.

He went on to receive PhDs in both history and economics from the University of Chicago, where Nobel-Prize winning economic historian Robert Fogel introduced him to the field of anthropometric history in 1982. Komlos has devoted most of his academic career developing and expanding this research agenda, which culminated in his founding the field of “Economics and Human Biology” with the journal of the same name in 2003.

Komlos was the first to explain why populations of the then developed world became shorter at the onset of modern economic growth. He also discovered that after being the tallest in the world for 200 years, Americans became shorter than Western and Northern Europeans after the Second World War. His work has been cited in radio programs and on television as well as in most major newspapers around the globe including The New York Times, where Paul Krugman wrote about it, and has been featured in The New Yorker magazine in 2004. The trauma of 2008 and the Great Recession induced Komlos to teach and write about the need for a paradigm switch in economics which culminated in the publication of this book on the human-centered principles of real-world economics.

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