Machlup divided information use into instrumental, intellectual, and pastime knowledge categories. “These categories suggest that there is more to information use than only that which is instrumental in nature. They suggest that there is a broad range of uses each of which is essentially important to human information movement and each of which, therefore, has a legitimate claim to the attention of our field” (Francis L. Miksa).

He recognized and treated knowledge as an information source. He was a major contributor to general and international economic theory. Leonard Silk of the NY Times said that “he was one of the first to see that knowledge was becoming a critical resource.” He also worked on the major volume, The Study of Information: Interdisciplinary Messages, which he co-edited with Una Mansfield. He was concerned with the economics of knowledge. He began a 10 volume series Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution, and Economic Significance–only 3 were completed. He worked at: Professor Economics, NYU; Professor Emeritus, Princeton.  Extensive additional biographical information, and a reference to a biography may be found at:

Offices held:

American Economic Association: President

International Economic Association: President

American Association of University Professors: President

Fritz Machlup Papers:

Stanford University, Hoover Institute Archives (313 ms. boxes, 11 oversize boxes, 6 card file boxes, 1 album box, 4 phonotape cassettes, and 4 phonotape reels (1911-1983); correspondence, writings, reports, memoranda, notes, questionnaires, data, financial records, grant proposals, instructional materials, and printed matter, relating to economic theory, to information systems, and to the creation and transmission of knowledge; in English and German)