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Wilfred BECKERMAN

Wilfred BECKERMAN, economist in the field of National Income Accounting; Labour Market Studies: Wages, Employment; Economics of Poverty. Member, United Kingdom Royal Commission Environmental Pollution, 1970-1973; President, Section F, British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1978; Governor, Council, Executive Committee, National Institute of Economie and Social Research, London, United Kingdom, since 1972; Research Scholar, Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, Italy, 1980.

Background

  • BECKERMAN, Wilfred was born in 1925 in Croydon, Surrey, England.

  • Education

    • Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1948, 1951,1951.

    Career

    • Lector, University Nottingham, 1950-1952. Economics Adviser, Head Division, Organisation of European Economic Co-operation, Paris, 1952-1961. Director Research Project, National Institute of Economie and Social Research, London, United Kingdom, 1962-1964.

      Fellow, Balliol College Oxford, 1964-1969. Economics Adviser, President United Kingdom Board of Trade, 1967-1969. Professor Political Economics, University London, 1969-1975.

      Elie Halevy Visiting Professor, Institute, Institution National d’ Etudes Politiques, Paris, 1977-1978. Visiting Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, District of Columbia, 1982. Consultant, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Labour Office, World Bank.

      Visiting Professor, University Dijon, 1983. Fellow, Balliol College, University Reader Economics, University Oxford, since 1977. Editorial Board, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, J. Public Policy.

    Major achievements

    • Member, United Kingdom Royal Commission Environmental Pollution, 1970-1973. President, Section F, British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1978. Governor, Council, Executive Committee, National Institute of Economie and Social Research, London, United Kingdom, since 1972.

      Research Scholar, Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, Italy, 1980.

    Views

    During ten years at Organisation of European Economic Co-operation and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (1952-1961) I had varied policy interests. Then in the 1960s I concentrated on analysis of growth determinants (including advocacy of an export-led growth model), as well as methods of international real income comparisons. As a result of membership of a Royal Commission (1970-1973) I became involved in environmental economics, which led to my playing a prominent part in the then major controversy over the desirability and costs of economic growth.

    Moved in the mid-1970s to the relative obscurity and peace of detailed work on poverty and the impact of social security programmes in various countries. But by 1978 it was clear that the major cause of increased poverty in the modern world was the return to large-scale unemployment and stagnation, and also that the most interesting work going on was in macroeconomics, so in an attempt chiefly to understand it I drifted back into mainstream macroeconomics. I still occasionally dip a finger in the real income comparison pie, or the poverty pie, but I am currently chiefly interested in the mechanism by which induced sharp changes in flexible prices of primary products feed back on to the industrialised countries’ economies inflation rates. Overall my contributions have been mainly of a quantitative nature in the areas indicated above, but my main contribution was, I suppose, the less exclusively measurementoriented battle that I fought in In Defence of Economic Growth in the early 1970s, just when we entered a period in which there was no more growth to defend.

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