Gunnar Myrdal Biography - Nobel Prize Winner (1982)


Gunnar Myrdal (December 6, 1898 – May 17, 1987) was a Swedish economist and politician. He was born in Gagnef, Dalecarlia, and died in Danderyd, close to Stockholm. He graduated from Stockholm University Law School in 1923 and received the juris doctor degree in Economics in 1927. He married Alva Myrdal in 1924, and they had three children including Jan Myrdal and Sissela Bok . In 1982, Alva Myrdal won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In Gunnar Myrdals juris doctor degree in Economics he examined the role of expectations in price formation. His analysis stongly influenced the Stockholm school, a school that developed Keynesian economics before Keynes.

He was professor of economics at the Stockholm School of Economics from 1933 to 1947 and simultaneously a Social Democratic senator. He became minister of trade from 1945 to 1947. For the next 10 years he was executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe after which Asia and third world poverty commanded his attention for a while. His research about Asia and the causes of poverty resulted in his influential study "Asian Drama: An inquiry into the Poverty of Nations" (1968). Between 1960 and 1967 he was professor of international economics at Stockholm University. He shared the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences (otherwise known as the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics) with Friedrich Hayek in 1974.

Myrdal is perhaps even more famous for his influential and landmark book "An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy", originally published in 1944 and commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation, and for coining the phrase "An American Dilemma." The dilemma is between high ideals on the one hand and poor performance on the other: in the two generations or more since the Civil War, the U.S. had not been able to put its human rights ideals into practice for the black (or Negro) tenth of its population. This comprehensive study of sociological (including economics), anthropological and legal data on black-white race relations in the U.S. was begun in 1938, after Myrdal was selected by the Carnegie corporation to direct the study. It should be noted here that Myrdal planned on doing a similar study on the question of gender instead of race; however, he could not find the funding for this project so he never completed it.

Myrdal published many other notable works, both before and after this most notable work and, among many other contributions to social and public policy, founded and chaired the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Internationally revered as a father-figure of social policy, he contributed to social democratic thinking throughout the world, in collaboration with friends and colleagues in the political and academic arenas. Sweden and Britain were among the pioneers of a welfare state and books by Myrdal (Beyond the Welfare State - New Haven, 1958) and Richard Titmuss (Essays on “The Welfare State” - London, 1958) unsurprisingly explore similar themes.

Akerlof, George A.
Allais, Maurice
Arrow, Kenneth J.
Aumann, Robert J.
Becker, Gary S.
Buchanan, James M., Jr.
Coase, Ronald H.
Debreu, Gerard
Engle, Robert F.
Fogel, Robert W.
Friedman, Milton
Frisch, Ragnar
Granger, Clive W. J.
Haavelmo, Trygve
Harsanyi, John C.
Heckman, James J.
Hayek, Friedrich August Von
Hicks, Sir John R.
Kahneman, Daniel
Kantorovich, Leonid Vitaliyevich
Klein, Lawrence R.
Koopmans, Tjalling C.
Kuznets, Simon
Kydland, Finn E.
Leontief, Wassily
Lewis, Sir Arthur
Lucas, Robert
Markowitz, Harry M.
McFadden, Daniel L.
Meade, James E.
Merton, Robert C.
Miller, Merton M.
Mirrlees, James A.
Modigliani, Franco
Mundell, Robert A.
Myrdal, Gunnar
Nash, John F.
North, Douglass C.
Ohlin, Bertil
Prescott, Edward C.
Samuelson, Paul A.
Schelling, Thomas C.
Scholes, Myron S.
Schultz, Theodore W.
Selten, Reinhard
Sen, Amartya
Sharpe, William F.
Simon, Herbert A.
Smith, Vernon L.
Solow, Robert M.
Spence, A. Michael
Stigler, George J.
Stiglitz, Joseph E.
Stone, Sir Richard
Tinbergen, Jan
Tobin, James
Vickrey, William

The text is property of free encyclopedia Wikipedia. For more information please go to