Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Nationaløkonomisk tidsskrift,
Nationaløkonomisk Forening

Trygve Haavelmo’s visit in Aarhus 1938-39

2008, Volume 2008, issue 1, pp. 66-88

Olav Bjerkholt ()
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Olav Bjerkholt: Department of Economics, University of Oslo and Statistics Norway, Postal: Sognsveien 77, 0855 OSLO, Norway

Abstract: Trygve Haavelmo spent the academic year 1938/39 at the University of Aarhus as a lecturer in statistics. Immediately after his Aarhus stay he left for the United States, where he completed The Probability Approach in Econometrics (1944) and later worked at the Cowles Commission before returning to Norway in 1947. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether Haavelmo was already on the path towards the Probability Approach when he was in Aarhus or, as suggested in the history of econometrics literature, this path did not really open up until Haavelmo went to the USA and was converted to probability reasoning. The paper gives a survey of Haavelmo’s papers and other work while in Aarhus. The evidence indicates that Haavelmo had adopted probability ideas by the time he was in Aarhus and seemed well prepared to embark on his magnum opus.

Keywords: Trygve Haavelmo

JEL-codes: A10

Language: English

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