Profile Major Works Resources

Jan Tinbergen, 1903-1994.

Portrait of J.Tinbergen

Dutch economist, statistician and pioneer of econometrics.

Originating from the Hague, Jan Tinbergen obtained his doctorate at the University of Leyden in 1929.  Tinbergen joined the Dutch central statistical bureau in 1929. From 1933, Tinbergen also became a part-time faculty member at the Netherlands School of Economics (now Erasmus University, Rotterdam).  In 1936-38, Tinbergen took leave to work as an advisor to the League of Nations in Geneva, during which composed some of his most famous works.

Tinbergen pioneered econometrics in the late 1930s, applying new statistical techniques mainly to Neo-Keynesian macroeconomic models, estimating parameters and using it as a means to calculate the impact of economic policies.   Tinbergen's 1936 model of 34 equations for the Dutch economy was the first macroeconometric model ever built.  His 1939 macro-model of the United States used 48 equations (Klein's 1950 model would use only seven).

In 1945, Tinbergen became the director of the Dutch Central Planning Bureau in the Hague.  He resigned in 1955 to take up a full-time academic position at Rotterdam, although still acting as a consultant to the Dutch government, various developing countries (India, Pakistan, etc.) and UN agencies.  In the 1950s, Tinbergen laid the groundwork for the theory of optimal policy and also extended his ideas to longer-term problems, notably economic development and growth.

Jan Tinbergen shared the first  Nobel Memorial Prize  in 1969 with Ragnar Frisch.



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Major works of Jan Tinbergen

  • "Bestimmung und Deutung von Angebotskurven", 1930, ZfN
  • "Ein Schifbauzyklus?", 1931, WWA
  • "The Notion of Horizon and Expectancy in Dynamics Economics", 1933, Econometrica
  • "Annual Survey: Suggestions on Quantitative Business Cycle Theory", 1935, Econometrica
  • Grondproblemen der Theoretische Statistik, 1936.
  • An Econometric Approach to Business Cycle Problems, 1937.
  • "Statistical Evidence on the Acceleration Principle", 1938, Economica
  • Business Cycles in the United States, 1919–1932, 1939
  • Statistical Testing of Business Cycle Theories, 2 volumes, 1939.
  • "Econometric Business Cycle Research", 1940, RES
  • "Critical Remarks on Some Business Cycle Theories", 1942, Economerica
  • "An Acceleration Principle for Commodity, Stockholding and a Short Cycle Resulting from it", 1942, in Lange et al., editors, Studies in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics
  • "Ligevaegtstyper og Kunjukturbevaegelse", 1944, Nordik Tidskrift for Teknisk Okonomi
  • International Economic Cooperation, 1945
  • "Some Problems in the Explanation of Interest Rates", 1947, QJE
  • Econometrics, 1951.
  • Business Cycles in the United Kingdom, 1870-1914, 1951.
  • On the Theory of Economic Policy, 1952
  • "Capital Formation and the Five Year Plan", 1953, Indian EJ.
  • Centralization and Decentralization in Economic policy, 1954
  • Economic Policy: Theory and design, 1956.
  • "The Optimum Rate of Saving", 1956, EJ
  • The Design of Development, 1958.
  • "International Coordination of Stabilization and Development Policies", 1959, Kyklos
  • "Problems of Planning Economic Policy", 1959, UNESCO ISSJ, p.351 [pdf]
  • Programming Techniques for Economic Development, 1960
  • "Optimum Savings and Utility Maximization Over Time", 1960, Econometrica
  • "La especialidad de los bienes de capital y el periodo de ajuste en la planeaceon de desarrollo", 1960, Trimestre Economico
  • "Do Communist and Free Societies Show a Converging Pattern?", 1961, Soviet Studies
  • Mathematical Models for Economic Growth, with H.C. Bos, 1962
  • Shaping the World Economy, 1962
  • "The Case for a Commodity Reserve Currency", with A.G. Hart and N. Kaldor, 1964, UNCTAD
  • "Spardefizit und Handelsdefizit", 1965, WW
  • "The Use of Models: Experience and prospects", 1969 [nobel]
  • Income Distribution: Analysis and Policies, 1975.
  • Optimal education, Occupation and Income Distribution in a Simplist Model, 1978.
  • "Recollections of Professional Experiences", 1979, BNLQR.
  • "The Use of Models: Experience and prospects", 1981, AER
  • "Development Cooperation as a Learning Process"  1984, in G.M. Meier and D. Seers, ed, Pioneers in Development [ch.11, full]




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Resources on Jan Tinbergen

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