Until the early 1930s Myrdal emphasized pure theory, in sharp contrast to his later concern with applied economics and social problems. In his doctoral dissertation he had examined the role of expectations in price formation, an approach stemming from the work of Frank H. Knight. The theoretical approach was carried over by Myrdal into macroeconomics when, as a member of the Stockholm school of economics, he delivered, in 1931, the lectures resulting in Monetary Equilibrium (1939), which contained the important distinction between ex ante (or planned) and ex post (or realized) savings and investment.
Working at the invitation of the Carnegie Corporation (N.Y.), Myrdal explored the social and economic problems of blacks in America in 1938-40 and wrote An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944). In this work, Myrdal presented his theory of cumulative causation, of poverty breeding poverty. The same idea became a leading feature of Myrdal's writings on development economics, in which he argued that, rather than rich and poor countries converging with economic development, they might well diverge, the poor countries becoming poorer as the rich countries enjoyed economies of scale and the poor ones were forced to rely on primary products.
From 1947 to 1957 Myrdal was executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
Other books in which Myrdal combined his economic research with sociological
studies are The Political Element in the Development of Economic Theory
(1930) and Beyond the Welfare State: Economic Planning and its International
Implications (1960). The book Asian Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty
of Nations (1968) represents a 10-year study of the economic concerns
and vested interests of southern Asia that account for its social condition.
Main Page | About Us | All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners is not affiliated with The Nobel Foundation. External sites are not endorsed or supported by http://www.nobel-winners.com/ Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.