In 1946 the University of Chicago economics department considered the following individuals for job offers: John Hicks, Paul Samuelson, Friedrich A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Lionel Robbins, A. G. Hart, and George Stigler.
The names making the final vote were Hicks, Hart, Stigler, Friedman, and Samuelson. The Borda point count method was used, and Hicks turned out to be the clear number one choice. Neither Friedman nor Samuelson were the number one choices of any departmental voter, while Stigler won three first-choice votes (see Table one in the paper).
The voters themselves were quite prestigious, including Hazel Kyrk, Lloyd Mints, Jacob Marschak, Henry Simons, Tjalling Koopmans, H. Gregg Lewis, Frank Knight, and T.W. Schultz. If you are wondering, Knight’s first choice was Stigler. Friedman and Samuelson came in fourth and fifth, respectively, with Samuelson as a distant last place pick. Schultz however put Friedman dead last.
The winner Hicks was not interested, and that year, Chicago ended up with Friedman and Roy Blough. Here is the NYT obituary for Roy Blough:
Roy Blough, an economist who served in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, died on Friday at a retirement home in Mitchellville, Md. He was 98.
From 1938 to 1946, Mr. Blough was director of tax research at the Treasury Department and assistant to the treasury secretary. From 1950 to 1952, he was a member of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Later in the 1950’s, he was principal director of the economic affairs department at the United Nations. He also taught at several universities, including the University of Chicago, from 1946 to 1952, and Columbia University, from 1955 to 1970, when he retired.
He wrote several books, including ”The Federal Taxing Process” and ”International Business: Environment and Adaptation.”
Addendum, via Doug Irwin:
Arnold Harberger on Roy Blough: “he came to Chicago and he was a very boring professor. He didn’t inspire anybody to do anything, and he didn’t do very much himself. And he was a little pompous, but nice, a decent analyst, not very deep analytically, didn’t really command the theory of the subject. Then he was named a member of the Council of Economic Advisors and he left Chicago. And all the colleagues sighed a sigh of relief and said, “Gee, we found a way to get rid of him.”
To replace Blough, they hired Arnold Harberger, I am told.