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Knut Wicksell, Gustav Cassel, Eli Heckscher, Bertil Ohlin and Gunnar Myrdal on the Role of the Economist in Public Debate

  • Benny Carlson
  • Lars Jonung

In Swedish public debate, economists have been more influential than any other category of social scientists. We examine the views of five great Swedish economists on the role of the university economist in the public arena. What did they say about scholarly objectivity and value judgements, about political commitment and educating the people? The five economists are Knut Wicksell, Gustav Cassel, Eli Heckscher, Bertil Ohlin and Gunnar Myrdal. Representing two generations and a broad political spectrum, they were immensely productive. They founded Sweden’s tradition of media-tuned university economists strongly involved in the current social issues. More recently, however, academic economists in Sweden have shifted away from that ideal. The future of the old heritage hangs in doubt.

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Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 511-550

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Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:511-550
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  1. Anne D. Boschini & Matthew J. Lindquist & Jan Pettersson & Jesper Roine, 2004. "Learning to Lose a Leg: Casualties of PhD Economics Training in Stockholm," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 369-379, August.
  2. Jonung,Lars (ed.), 1991. "The Stockholm School of Economics Revisited," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521391276, Junio.
  3. Per Skedinger & Dan Johansson, 2004. "In Sweden, Anti-Globalizationists Dominate Public Discourse, Econ Profs Do Little," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 175-184, April.
  4. Colander, David, 2003. "The Aging of an Economist," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 157-176, June.
  5. Daniel B. Klein, 2006. "Sense and Sensibilities: Myrdal's Plea for Self-Disclosure and Some Disclosures on AEA Members," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(1), pages 180-205, January.
  6. Ronald Findlay & Lars Jonung & Mats Lundahl (ed.), 2002. "Bertil Ohlin: A Centennial Celebration (1899-1999)," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062283, March.
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