Ragnar Frisch - Nobel Prize Winner in Economics 1969
Beginning his economic career because the subject was quick and easy, Ragnar Frisch gradually developed a passion for the field that led to a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1969 for groundbreaking research and innovative economic thinking.
Ragnar Anton Kittil Frisch was born 3 March 1895 in Oslo. Intending to be a jeweller like his father, young Frisch became an apprentice at the David Andersen jewellery firm. While an apprentice, he studied economics, because, according to him, that was the "shortest and easiest course of study" at the University of Oslo.
He earned his cand.oecon degree in 1919 and one year later, after completing his jeweller’s apprenticeship, he went abroad to continue his studies in economics and mathematics. In 1926 he became an associate professor at the University of Oslo and earned his Ph.D. In 1931 Frisch was appointed professor and the following year he founded the Department of Economics at the University of Oslo. A gift from the Rockefeller Foundation financed the new department, which was initially devoted completely to research.
Ragnar Frisch delivered a substantial number of groundbreaking articles on econometrics, for which he was awarded the very first Nobel Prize in economics, which he shared with Dutchman Jan Tinbergen. During the Depression in the 1930s, Frisch was one of the first economists to endorse a proactive economic policy: increase demand by raising the level of government activity and hence public spending.
During World War II, Frisch developed new methods of setting up national accounts, and those methods were applied to the first Norwegian national budget after the war. Later, he worked as an economics expert in various developing countries, including extensive tours in India and Egypt.
Ragnar Frisch died in 1973.
See also The Nobel Institute.