Stanley L. Engerman is John Munro Professor of Economics emeritus at the University of Rochester. He received his Ph.D. in economics in 1962 from Johns Hopkins University after completing a BA and an MBA at NYU. His first professional position was at Yale. He moved to the University of Rochester in 1963. Engerman is known for his quantitative historical work with Robert Fogel. His first major book, co-authored with Fogel in 1974, was Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize in American History. Engerman has also published over 100 articles and authored, co-authored or edited 21 book-length studies.
He and Fogel were graduate students together under Simon Kuznets and later colleagues at Rochester. The genesis for Time on the Cross was an article for a collection of papers on economic history they edited for their book The Reinterpretation of American Economic History. While writing the essay for that book they determined that a more extensive project was needed to try to answer some of the questions about slavery that were still unsettled. It seemed like a good project, given the centrality of slavery to American history and the fact that so many important questions on the topic were posed in economic terms. The combination of economic theory and quantitative methods, combined with the importance of the questions made the study of slavery so central to discussions about the New Economic History, as Cliometrics was known as in the 1950s.
His service to the profession has been long and varied. At various times, he sat on the editorial boards of The Business History Review, the Journal of Economic History, Economic Inquiry, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Family History, Explorations in Economic History, Historical Methods, Slavery and Abolition, the Cambridge History and Geography of Disease, the Dictionary of American Economic History, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, and Southern Studies. He has served the Economic History Association as a Trustee, program committee chair, Vice President, and President. He was also Vice President and ultimately President of the Social Science History Association.
He has held visiting positions at Oxford University, Australian National University, Harvard, and the University of Minnesota. He was Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University, and holds Fellowships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Cliometric Society, the Economic History Association, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. He has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and held a position as a Fellow in the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.