The Nobel Prize, IIASA, and Lawrence Klein

Professor Lawrence R. Klein was awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Economics "for the creation of econometric models and their application to the analysis of economic fluctuations and economic policies." He passed away at the age of 93 in October 2013.

© 13th Raúl Prebisch Lecture at UNCTAD

© 13th Raúl Prebisch Lecture at UNCTAD

Professor Klein is cited as the "father of econometrics," and his Nobel citation states, "few, if any, research workers in the empirical field of economic science have had so many successors and such a large impact as Lawrence Klein."

He joined the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958, where he taught economics for 33 years. His work is described by a colleague in the New York Times obituary as being "built on the idea that an economy is a set of complex organisms - millions of people, millions of households, corporations, government and other entities—and that through simple models one can understand its essence. The models ... make predictions about what is likely to happen in the economy if there is a significant change in international markets, such as an increase in the price of petroleum." 

He was also the principal investigator of Project Link, which his Nobel citation describes as coordinating "econometric models in different countries." During this project, he was a visiting scientist in the IIASA Systems and Decision Sciences Program in 1978 as well as serving on the Advisory Committee to the program. 

In his autobiographical essay for the Nobel committee, he wrote, "From my student days, the concept of public service and the relationship of theoretical economics or econometrics to real world problems has appealed to me, and I have tried to follow the footsteps of my teachers in practicing economics in this way."

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Last edited: 08 February 2017


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Krelle, W. (1989). The Future of the World Economy. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-50467-2

Hickman, B.G. (1983). Global International Economic Models. Amsterdam: North Holland Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-444-86718-X

Klein, L.R. (1979). A Global Economics Model. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-79-076

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