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Tjalling Koopmans


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  • There is a classic paper in economic methodology by Nobel Laureate Tjalling Koopmans called "Measurement without Theory," which is an indictment of the "leading indicators" approach to macroeconomic statistical analysis.

    Measurement Without Measurement, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • In subsequent years, it was given to Herbert Simon, Kenneth Arrow, Tjalling Koopmans, Lawrence Klein, all of whom did much of their work at Cowles, and to Friedman, Theodore Schultz and Samuelson, all of whom worked nearby and who were heavily influenced by Cowles.

    Economic Principals

  • The Dutch physicist-turned-economist Tjalling Koopmans was thinking about carrying cargo in ships; a young American researcher named George B. Dantzig was thinking about equipping and training the Air Force; and it was later discovered by Koopmans that a Russian scientist named Leonid Kantorovitch had hit upon some of the same ideas in the Soviet Union in 1939.

    Economic Principals

  • Tjalling Koopmans, a Norwegian trained as a theoretical physicist, who had run into Frisch and Tinbergen along the way;

    Economic Principals

  • Kenneth Arrow theorized and Tjalling Koopmans worked on statistical methods; but it was Klein who learned how to put the equations together in models.

    Economic Principals

  • Soviet mathematician and economist who shared the 1975 Bank of Sweden Prize for Economics with Tjalling Koopmans for their work on the optimal allocation of scarce resources.


  • Not counting Paul Samuelson, who blazed the trail of mathematical economics, Cowles alumni who are Nobel laureates include Kenneth Arrow, Tjalling Koopmans, Lawrence R. Klein, Herbert Simon and James Tobin.

    Economic Principals

  • With speed as happy as it was rare in economics, at least in those days, Haavelmo’s work was eagerly taken up by leading members in the field—especially during World War II by researchers of the Cowles Commission at the University of Chicago, including Tjalling Koopmans and Lawrence Klein, both future Nobel laureates.

    Economic Principals

  • Tjalling Koopmans, the physicist-turned-economist who would later win the Nobel, fired the first salvo in 1944, when he reviewed Mitchell and Burns’ magnum opus on business cycles under the title “Measurement Without Theory.”

    Economic Principals


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