Jan Tinbergen and the Rise of Economic Expertise

Book launch 21 June 2021

Jan Tinbergen was the first Nobel Prize winner in Economics and one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. This book argues that his crucial contribution is the theory of economic policy and the legitimation of economic expertise in service of the state. It traces his youthful socialist ideals which found political direction in the Plan-socialist movement of the 1930s for which he developed new economic models to combat the Great Depression.

After World War II he was able to synthesize that work into a theory of economic policy which not only provided a lasting framework for economic policy around the world, but also secured a permanent place for economic experts close to government.

The book then turns to an examination of his attempt to repeat this achievement in the development projects in the Global South and at the international level for the United Nations.

This biography is part of an ongoing research project ‘Jan Tinbergen: The Thinker’, supported by ESPhil, EIPE, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus Initiative “Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity” and the Erasmus Trustfonds.


17:45:Start livestream 
18:00:Welcome / introductionPhilip Hans Franses
Former Dean of and Professor of Applied Econometrics and Professor of Marketing Research at Erasmus School of Economics                   
18:05:Tinbergen’s contribution to econometrics  James. J. Heckman
Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economics (2000) 


Panel on Tinbergen’s ideals and legacy.

Moderated by Arjo Klamer
With Erwin Dekker, Esther-Mirjam Sent (Professor of Economic Theory  and Policy at Radboud University Nijmegen) and Philip Hans Franses 


Moderated by Arjo Klamer
Professor of the Economics of Art and Culture at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Followers of the livestream are invited to participate in the discussion

19:00:End of programme and livestream


Register here to join the book launch and review.

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