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

  • 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.

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

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

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