Conference on Ragnar Nurkse

6 November 2006 at 1:21 pm 4 comments

| Peter Klein |

The Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, and The Other Canon Foundation, Norway, are organizing a 2007 conference to celebrate the birth of Ragnar Nurkse, often called a Norwegian or Swede but in fact the world’s most important Estonian economist. Here is the call for papers. “This conference will discuss Nurkse’s work also in relationship to his contemporaries in development economics, and the common elements of development economics from Antonio Serra to Nurkse — among them technology, finance, institutions, problems of foreign ownership — will be highlighted.”

Nurkse was an occasional visitor to Mises’ private seminar at the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. He rejected the Austrian theory of capital, however, preferring a model in which capital is virtually homogeneous and self-reproducing. (See his “The Schematic Representation of the Structure of Production,” Review of Economic Studies, June 1935.)

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Austrian Economics.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jüri Saar  |  6 November 2006 at 1:36 pm


    I’m an Estonian and this was the first I came across Nurkse. The man seems to be virutally unknown in Estonia today or maybe I just haven’t read widely enough.

    Another reason to keep reading this blog, though :)

  • 2. G.V.Varma  |  10 November 2006 at 4:05 am

    Even a 11th standard student in India begins her study of development economics with the famous “vicious circle” theory of Prof.Nurkse and his balanced growth theory.His classic statements like “a country is poor because it is poor” and “balanced growth needs a balanced diet” are so famous that often questions like”A country is poor because…Comment”are asked repeatedly in examinations.Prof.Nurkse is,without doubt,one of the founders of development economics.It is unfortunate that in discussions on the history of development economics his name is often not mentioned.

  • 3. Jüri Saar  |  17 November 2006 at 12:16 pm

    Unfortunately, India seems to be the exception that confirms the rule. It also seems to me that economics is for many a field where only the latest developments count for anything.

  • 4. Joseph Meissner  |  17 July 2012 at 2:08 pm

    It is good to become reacquainted with Ragnar Nurkse. Some fifty years ago we used his works in debates in college. He was one of our authorities that we quoted. I always considered him Norwegian, but am glad to know that Estonia can also claim him.

    I should mention that our team (of Joseph Meissner and David Schmid) I had a chart with Nurske’s ideas on it that I would use in our debates. So effective were his quotes and ideas that during one debate the opposition side ripped up the chart including Nurske’s wisdom. Well, we won that debate anyway.



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