Nathan Rosenberg was Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Professor of Public Policy Emeritus in the Department of Economics at Stanford University, and he was a Member of the Board of Advisors for the Independent Institute and its the Center on Global Prosperity as well as a member of the Editorial Board of Advisors for The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin, and he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University, Harvard University, University of Wisconsin, London School of Economics, and Cambridge University.
Professor Rosenberg's books include Economic Planning in the British Building Industry, 1945-1949; The Economics of Technological Change: Selected Readings; Technology and American Economic Growth; The Positive Sum Strategy: Harnessing Technology for Economic Growth; The Britannia Bridge: The Generation and Diffusion of Technological Knowledge; Technology and the Wealth of Nations; Inside the Black Box: Technology and the Pursuit of Economic Growth and Paths of Innovation: Technological Change in 20th-Century America (both with David Mowry); The Emergence of Economic Ideas; The American System of Manufactures; Schumpeter and the Endogeneity of Technology: Some American Perspectives; Perspectives on Technology; How the West Grew Rich (with L.E. Birdzell, Jr.); and Exploring the Black Box.
He was also a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the U.N. Institute for New Technology, and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. An Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, Professor Rosenberg is the recipient of the Leonardo da Vinci Medal of the Society for the History of Technology and honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Lund and the University of Bologna.
In his book with L. Birdzell, How the West Grew Rich, they famously developed the Rosenberg-Birdzell hypothesis that innovation is produced by economic competition among politically independent entities.