Robert Summers was an empirical economist for the University of Pennsylvania. He passed away in April 2012. He was also the father of former U.S. Treasury Department secretary and Harvard University president Lawrence Summers.
The elder Summers was best known for his work on international comparisons of prices and wages, known as the Penn World Tables and the International Comparison Project, conducted with Irving Kravis and Alan Heston.
Summers' work with the International Comparison Project produced a series of books and articles on the measurement of consistent economic aggregates and prices across nations and over time. The team's major contribution was in developing real product comparisons and estimating purchasing-power parities for an expanding number of countries.
Summers received his Ph.D. from Stanford University.