Gunnar Myrdal

Gunnar Myrdal (gŭn´är mĬr´däl, Swed. mür´däl), 1898–1987, Swedish economist, sociologist, and public official; husband of Alva Myrdal. A graduate (1927) of the Univ. of Stockholm, he became lecturer (1927) and professor (1931) of economics there. His Crisis in the Population Question (1934), written with his wife, stimulated general welfare measures, which Myrdal helped to shape as a member (1933–38) of various government commissions. For the Carnegie Corp. of America he headed (1938–42) a study of race relations in America that resulted in the exhaustively detailed An American Dilemma (1944, new ed. 1962), written in collaboration with R. M. E. Sterner and Arnold Rose. It examined racial problems in the United States and concluded that they were inextricably entwined with the democratic functioning of American society. Myrdal was Swedish secretary of commerce (1945–47) and executive secretary (1947–57) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. In Rich Lands and Poor (1957) he advocated greater aid for the economic development of the poorer nations, and in Asian Drama (3 vol., 1968) he analyzed the social and economic factors affecting the governments of Asia. A foremost expert on the Swedish economy, he also wrote studies such as The Cost of Living in Sweden, 1830–1930 (1933, tr. 1933). He shared the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

See also his Challenge of World Poverty (1970) and Against the Stream (1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Ethnicity, Pluralism, and Race: Race Relations Theory in America before Myrdal
R. Fred Wacker.
Greenwood Press, 1983
Value in Social Theory: A Selection of Essays on Methodology
Gunnar Myrdal; Paul Streeten.
Harper, 1958
Population, a Problem for Democracy
Gunnar Myrdal.
Harvard University Press, 1940
Evolution of the Market Process: Austrian and Swedish Economics
Michel Bellet; Sandye Gloria-Palermo; Abdallah Zouache.
Routledge, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Gunnar Myrdal and the Stockholm School" and Chap. 6 "The Loose Link: Hayek, Lindahl, and Myrdal on Money"
Frontiers of Economics: Nobel Laureates of the Twentieth Century
Abu N. M. Wahid.
Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987): An Economist, a Social Thinker, a Politician, and a Laureate of 1974"
African Drama: Myrdal and Progressive Institutional Change in South Africa
Ho, P. Sai-wing; Schneider, Geoffrey.
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 36, No. 2, June 2002
The Prescience of Myrdal
Thernstrom, Abigail; Thernstrom, Stephan.
The Public Interest, No. 128, Summer 1997
The Political Economy of European Integration: Theory and Analysis
Erik Jones; Amy Verdun.
Routledge, 2005
Librarian’s tip: "Integration and Myrdal's 'Cumulatve Causality'" begins on p. 61
Myrdal's Backwash and Spread Effects in Classical Economics: Implications for Multilateral Trade Negotiations
Ho, P. Sai-wing.
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 38, No. 2, June 2004
Analyzing and Arresting Uneven Development: Friedrich List and Gunnar Myrdal Compared
Ho, P. Sai-wing.
Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 40, No. 2, June 2006
Metaphors of Discrimination: A Comparison of Gunnar Myrdal and Gary Becker
Shulman, Steven.
Review of Social Economy, Vol. 50, No. 4, Winter 1992
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