PROFESSOR NORBERTKLOTEN ; Liberal Conservative Economist
Frowen, Stephen, The Independent (London, England)
Norbert Kloten was one of the most influential economists of the Federal Republic of Germany -as scholar, economic adviser and central banker contributing decisively to the country's reconstruction after the Second World War and to turning Germany into one of the world's leading industrial nations.
He was born in 1926 in Sinzig, where his family had been running their estate for generations, and grew up in the neighbouring, more up-market town of Bad Honnef. After graduating from the University of Bonn in 1948 with the degree of Diplom-Volkswirt, he took his doctorate there under the supervision of Professor Erwin von Beckerath and Professor Matthias Ernst Kamp, and then, in 1956, his Habilitation (higher doctorate) under Professor Erwin von Beckerath. A short spell followed as Visiting Lecturer at the Bologna Center of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. During the summer of 1958 he replaced his academic teacher Erwin von Beckerath, and then for the winter semester 1959/60 Professor Hans Peters at the University of Tbingen - after which he was appointed to a permanent professorship there at the early age of 33 (a chair once held by the political economist Friedrich List).
Kloten first devoted himself to biography and the history of economic ideas, to the early Italian school, Enrico Barone and Vilfredo Pareto, and then Jean-Baptiste Say, William Stanley Jevons and, especially, John Stuart Mill' as well as Alfred Marshall, Gustav Cassel, and (working with von Beckerath) Lorenz von Stein. The ideas of these economists remained a lasting influence.
His active mind kept him abreast of developments in economics, but he remained a liberal conservative in economic theory, very much in the tradition of Walter Eucken and von Beckerath. His conviction of the importance of monetary stability dates from these early teachers. It coloured his whole approach to his support for the establishment of European Monetary Union and the European Central Bank, which reflected, as it turned out, the Bundesbank model.
When in 1976 he accepted the offer of the presidency of the Land Central Bank in Baden-Wrttemberg, the University of Tbingen made him an Honorary Professor, a position he held until his death. Running concurrently with his responsibilities as academic and central banker, Kloten pursued a third major activity, as an adviser - which proved to be his particular talent.
Since 1967 he had been a member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Federal Ministry of Economics and he served as its Chairman from 1992 to 1996. He was a member also, from 1969, of the Sachverstndigenrat, the body that advises the Federal Government in Germany. This responsibility lasted until 1976 when he took over the presidency of the Land Central Bank' and he was its Chairman from 1970 until 1976. In addition, he acted in an advisory capacity to African and Asian governments, and latterly spent much time in China, too.
He was offered many other professor ships - including one at Munich that would have meant taking over the Ifo Institute. …