Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Frisch'S Econometric Laboratory And The Rise Of Trygve Haavelmo'S Probability Approach


Author Info

  • Bjerkholt, Olav


The paper traces Trygve Haavelmo s training and early career as an econometrician from graduation in economics at the University of Oslo in 1933 until his departure for the United States in 1939. The overwhelming influence on Haavelmo in this period was Ragnar Frisch, whose econometric laboratory at the University of Oslo was Haavelmo s workplace and training ground. In the latter part of the period Haavelmo traveled in Europe, mostly within the network of econometricians Frisch had been instrumental in establishing. Haavelmo s work with Frisch, his interaction with other econometricians and statisticians, and his own scholarly work are set out in some detail, allowing assessment to be made of the development of Haavelmo s econometric ideas. Of particular interest is how far his ideas had evolved by 1939. This paper deals with Frisch and his research program in the early 1930s. Haavelmo s activities are narrated by and large chronologically. A sequel to this paper will deal with Haavelmo s scientific activities while in the United States from 1939 to 1944.I have benefited greatly from extensive, generous, and very insightful advice and prodding from three anonymous referees on earlier drafts. I am also most grateful for advice and encouragement from the editor. To one of the anonymous referees I also owe the title. I absolve the referees and take full responsibility for all remaining errors and shortcomings. The paper draws on correspondence and documents from the Rockefeller Archive Center, Tarrytown, New York, and the Frisch Correspondence Files at the National Library of Norway and in addition from the Frisch and Haavelmo archives, currently at the Department of Economics, University of Oslo. I am most grateful to professor emeritus Tore S. Thonstad, who has done a great job of organizing the Frisch and Haavelmo archives. I have also benefited from the comprehensive Frisch bibliography prepared by professor emeritus K re N. Edvardsen. I thank J.J. Polak for reminiscences, Yngve Willassen for information, E.S. Jansen and J. Kiviet for a push to submit, and Hilde Bojer and Inger Bjerkodden for encouragement.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
File Function: link to article abstract page
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Econometric Theory.

Volume (Year): 21 (2005)
Issue (Month): 03 (June)
Pages: 491-533

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:cup:etheor:v:21:y:2005:i:03:p:491-533_05

Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU UK
Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150
Web page:

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Bjerkholt, Olav & Qin, Duo, 2010. "Teaching Economics as a Science: the 1930 Yale Lectures of Ragnar Frisch," Memorandum 05/2010, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Olav Bjerkholt, 2007. "Trygve Haavelmo’s visit in Aarhus 1938-39," CREATES Research Papers 2007-40, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  3. Niels Kærgård, 2012. "Haavelmo and Denmark," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 37, pages 6.
  4. Kallåk Anundsen , André & Sigurd Holmsen Krogh, Tord & Nymoen, Ragnar & Vislie, Jon, 2011. "Overdeterminacy and endogenous cycles: Trygve Haavelmo’s business cycle model and its implications for monetary policy," Memorandum 03/2011, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Bjerkholt, Olav, 2013. "Trygve Haavelmo at the Cowles Commission," Memorandum 26/2013, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  6. Christopher L. Gilbert & Duo Qin, 2005. "The First Fifty Years of Modern Econometrics," Working Papers 544, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  7. David Hendry & Soren Johansen, 2012. "Model Discovery and Trygve Haavelmo's Legacy," Economics Series Working Papers 598, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:etheor:v:21:y:2005:i:03:p:491-533_05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.