Theodore William Schultz  Biography - Nobel Prize Winner (1979)


Theodore William Schultz (April 30, 1902 – February 26, 1998) was the 1979 winner (jointly with Arthur Lewis) of the Bank of Sweden Prize.

He was born in Arlington, South Dakota, enrolled in South Dakota State College in 1921 to study agriculture, and entered the University of Wisconsin in 1924, studying economics.

He later taught at Iowa State College, and moved to the University of Chicago in 1943. He later became president of the American Economic Association. He was awarded his Nobel prize jointly with Arthur Lewis in 1979. He died in 1998.

His contributions
Schultz was awarded the Bank of Sweden Prize for his work in development economics, focusing on the economics of agriculture. He analysed the role of agriculture within the economy, and his work has had far reaching implications on industrialisation policy, both in developing and developed nations. Schultz also promulgated the idea of educational capital, an offshoot of the concept of human capital, relating specifically to the investments made in education.

Schultz researched into why post-World War II Germany and Japan recovered, at almost miraculous speeds from the wide-spread devastation. Contrast this with the United Kingdom which was still rationing food long after the war. His conclusion was that the speed of recovery was due to a healthy and highly educated population; education makes people productive and good healthcare keeps the education investment around and able to produce. One of his main contributions was later called Human Capital Theory, and inspired a lot of work in international development in the 1980s, motivating investments in vocational and technical education by Bretton Woods System International Financial Institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank.

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