Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1910-1986.

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The Dutch-born Tjalling Koopmans was a pioneer in the development of mathematical economics and econometrics.  As head of the Cowles Commission from 1948 until 1967, Koopmans presided over a crucial period in the development of Neo-Walrasian economics from its roots in the Lausanne School into its modern axiomatized form.

His specific contributions were many: Koopmans independently discovered and developed the method of "linear programming" and activity analysis and applied it to practical and theoretical general equilibrium models (1951, 1957). His Three Essays (1957) are a classical theoretical and methodological exposition of Neo-Walrasian general equilibrium theory. The equivalence of  "technical efficiency in production" and "profit-maximization" was forwarded by Koopmans (1951) -- thus leading to his effective involvement in Socialist Calculation debate.  His concern with efficiency in a G.E. setting led him to rewrite the Neoclassical growth model as intertemporal optimization problems (1965, 1967) and his concern with optimality over time have been an important phase of his work.  

Koopmans was also instrumental in developing and popularizing the "Cowles Approach" to econometrics (1937, 1947, 1950) - or simply econometrics "as we knew it" before the time-series/VAR approach became popular. In the 1940s, Koopmans became involved in a Methodenstreit with the American Institutionalists  over their "measurement without theory" approach to empirical research.

Koopmans was teaching at Yale when he shared the Nobel Memoiral Prize in 1975 with Leonid Kantorovich.


Major works of Tjalling C. Koopmans

  • Linear Regression Analysis of Economic Time Series, 1937.
  • "The Logic of Econometric Business Cycle Research", 1941, JPE.
  • "Statistical Estimation of Simultaneous Economic Relations", 1945, JASA [cwls]
  • "Measurement without Theory", 1947, REStat. [cwls]
  • "A Reply to Vining", 1949, REStat. [cwls]
  • "Identification Problems in Economic Model Construction" 1949, Econometrica [cwls]
  • "Optimum Utilization of the Transportation System", 1949, Proceedings of the International Statistical Conference [cwls]
  • "The Econometric Approach to Business Fluctuations", 1949, AER. [cwls]
  • "Utility Analysis of Decisions Affecting Future Well-Being", 1950, Econometrica [cwls]
  • Editor of Statistical Inference in Dynamic Economic Models, 1950.
  • "The Identification of Structural Characteristics" with O. Reiersol, 1950, Annals of Mathematical Statistics [cwls]
  • "Efficient Allocation of Resources", 1951, Econometrica. [cwls]
  • "A Model of Transportation", with S.Reiter, in Koopmans, 1951.
  • "Analysis of Production as an Efficient Combination of Activities", in Koopmans, 1951.
  • Editor of Activity Analysis of Production and Allocation, 1951.
  • "Activity Analysis and Its Applications", 1953, AER. [cwls]
  • Three Essays on the State of Economic Science, 1957.
  • "Assignment Problems and the Location of Economic Activities" with M.J. Beckmann, 1957, Econometrica [cwls] [pdf]
  • "Water Storage Policy in a Simplified Hydroelectric System" 1957, in Proceedings of the First International Conference on Operational Research [cwls]
  • "Selected Topics in Economics Involving Mathematical Reasoning" with A.F. Bausch,  1959, SIAM Review [cwls]
  • "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience", 1960, Econometrica. [cwls]
  • "Convexity Assumptions, Allocative Efficiency and Competitive Equilibrium", 1961, JPE.
  • "On Flexibility of Future Preferences", 1964 in Bryan and Shelley, editors, Human Judgments and Optimality. [cwls]
  • "Economic Growth at a Maximal Rate", 1964, QJE. [cwls]
  • "Stationary Utility and Time Preference", with P. Diamond and R.E. Williamson, 1964, Econometrica.[cwls]
  • "On the Existence of a Subinvariant Measure" with  R.E. Williamson, 1964, Proceedings of Konnikl. Nederl. Akad. van Wetenschappen [cwls]
  • "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth", 1965, Pontificiae Academiae Scientiarum Scripta Varia [cwls]
  • "Intertemporal Distribution and Optimal Aggregate Economic Growth", 1967, in Fellner, editor, Ten Economic Studies in the Tradition of Irving Fisher. [cwls]
  • "Objectives, Constraints and Outcomes in Optimal Growth Models", 1967, Econometrica. [cwls]
  • "Note on a Social System Composed of Hierarchies with Overlapping Personnel", 1969, Orbis Economicus. [cwls]
  • "Maximizing Stationary Utility in a Constant Technology" with R. Beals, 1969,  SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics [cwls]
  • Scientific Papers of Tjalling C. Koopmans, Volume I, 1970.
  • "A Model of a Continuing State with Scarce Capital", 1971, ZfN [cwls]
  • "On the Description and Comparison of Economic Systems" with J.M. Montias, 1971, in  Eckstein, editor, Comparison of Economic Systems. [cwls]
  • "On the Definition and Computation of a Capital Stock Invariant Under Optimization", with T. Hansen, 1972, JET [cwls]
  • "Representation of Preference Ordering with Independent Components of Consumption", 1972, in McGuire and Radner, editors, Decision and Organization. [cwls]
  • "Representation of Preference Orderings Over Time", 1972, in McGuire and Radner, editors, Decision and Organization. [cwls]
  • "Some Observations on Optimal Economic Growth and Exhaustible Resources", 1973, in Bos et al, editors, Economic Structure and Development. [cwls]
  • "Is the Theory of Competitive Equilibrium With It?", 1974, AER. [cwls]
  • "Proof for a Case where Discounting Advances Doomsday", 1974, RES.
  • "Concepts of Optimality and their Uses", 1977, AER. [cwls] [nobel]
  • "Examples of Production Relations Based on Microdata", 1977, in G.C. Harcourt, editor, Microeconomic Foundations of Macroeconomics [cwls]
  • "Economics Among the Sciences", 1979, AER. [cwls]
  • "The Transition from Exhaustible to Renewable or Inexhaustible Resources", 1981, in Economic Growth and Resources [cwls]
  • "Additively Decomposed Quasiconcave Functions", with G. Debreu, 1982, Mathematical Programming. [cwls]
  • Scientific Papers of Tjalling C. Koopmans, Volume II, 1985.
  • "Constancy and Constant Differences of Price Elasticities of Demand" with H. Uzawa, 1990, in Chipman et al., editors, Preferences, Uncertainty, and Optimality



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