Gunnar Myrdal

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Definition of 'Gunnar Myrdal'

Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) was a Swedish economist and sociologist who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1974. He is best known for his work on development economics and his theory of cumulative causation.

Myrdal was born in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1898. He studied economics at the University of Stockholm and later at the London School of Economics. In 1927, he became a professor of economics at the University of Stockholm.

Myrdal's early work focused on the economics of international trade. He argued that trade could be a force for good in the world, but that it could also lead to inequality and exploitation. He also developed a theory of cumulative causation, which argued that economic development could be self-sustaining or self-reinforcing.

In the 1930s, Myrdal became interested in development economics. He argued that the developing world was caught in a cycle of poverty and underdevelopment. He proposed a number of policies to help break this cycle, including foreign aid, land reform, and industrialization.

Myrdal's work on development economics had a profound impact on the field. He helped to shift the focus of development economics from a focus on economic growth to a focus on poverty reduction and social justice.

In 1974, Myrdal was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The prize committee cited his "pioneering work in the theory of economic development, and his empirical studies of economic growth, problems of economic disequilibrium, and the international economy."

Myrdal continued to work in economics and sociology until his death in 1987. He is considered one of the most important economists of the 20th century.

In addition to his work in economics, Myrdal was also active in politics. He served as a member of the Swedish Parliament from 1932 to 1945. He was also a member of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe from 1947 to 1957.

Myrdal was a prolific writer. He published over 30 books and hundreds of articles. His work has been translated into many languages.

Myrdal was a complex and controversial figure. He was a brilliant economist and sociologist, but he was also a strong advocate for social justice. His work has had a profound impact on the field of economics and on the development of the developing world.

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