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Nicholas GEORGESCU-ROEGEN, economist in the field of General Economic Theory; Mathematical Methods and Models; Agriculture and Natural Resources.


  • GEORGESCU-ROEGEN, Nicholas was born in 1906 in Constanta, Romania.

  • Education

    • Licence (Mathematics) University Bucharest, 1926. Dr Diploma (Statistics) University Paris (Sorbonne), 1930. Honorary Dr University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, 1976, University Florence, Italy, 1980, University of South, United States of America, 1983.


    • Professor, University Bucharest, School Statistics, 1932-1946. Assistant Director, Central State Institute, Institution, Bucharest, 1932-1938. Economics Adviser, Romanian Treasury Department, Bucharest, 1938-1939.

      Delegate, Committee, on Peaceful Change, League of Nations, 1938. Director, Romanian Board Trade, 1939^44. Secretary, General Romanian Armistice Committee, 1944-1945.

      Lector, Research Association, Harvard University, 1948-1949. Professor, Vanderbilt University, 1949-1976. Rockefeller Visiting Professor, Osaka University, Hitotsubashi University, Japan, 1962-1963.

      Visiting Lector, Institute, Institution Statistics, India, 1963. Ford Visiting Lector, Consultant, Brazil, 1964, 1966-1967. Visiting Professor, United States Agency International Development, Brazil, 1971.

      Committee Mineral Resources and Environment, National Academy of Sciences, USA, 1973-1975. Visiting Professor, Florence, Italy, 1974, Ottawa, 1975. Consultant, Austrian Social Democratic Party, 1976.

      Visiting Claude Worthington Benedum Professor, W. Virginia University, 1976-1978. Professor Association, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, 1977-1978. United States Office of Technology Task Force, 1977-1978.

      Visiting Professor, Technische University, Vienna, 1978, University Texas, Austin, 1979, McGill University, 1979, Institute, Institution Advanced Studies, Vienna, 1982. Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America, since 1976. Association Editor, Econometrica, 1951-1968.

      Advisory Board, Fundamenta Scientiae, since 1976. Editorial Board, Metroeconomica, since 1982.

    Major achievements

    • Visiting Rockefeller Fellow, United States of America, 1934-1936. Fellow, Econometric Society, 1950. Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, 1958-1959.

      Fellow, International Institute, Institution Sociology, 1960. Harvie Branscomb Award, 1967. Fellow, International Institute, Institution Statistics, 1970.

      Research Fellow, National Science Foundation, USA, 1968-1970. Distinguished Fellow, American Economic Association, 1971. Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1973.

      Earl Sutherland Prize, 1976. Honorary Member, Association Applied Econometrics, 1977. Fellow, Accad. Toscana di Scienzia e.

      Lett., 1977; Distinguished Association, Atlantic Economics Association, 1979.


    At times, it may take a statistician to beget an economist, of some sort. Since in the 1920s business cycles constituted a major problem for economists, for my dissertation in statistics I chose to develop a method for decomposing a time series into cyclical components — a novel approach which filled the entire October 1930 issue of Journal de la Société de Statistique de Paris. Believing that work on cycles as that of G. Warren and F. Pearson was still pursued at Harvard, I naturally wanted to spend my Rockefeller fellowhip there.

    To my great fortune, there was no such work when I arrived: seeking someone interested in cycle analysis, I came to meet professor J. A. Schumpeter (who, symptomatically, later used my method in his Business Cycles). His dedication to the young scholars around him guided my path into economics. I thus became a true Schumpeterian, envisioning economics as an evolutionary science.

    An old habit (some may say, fault) prompted me to probe the epistemological validity of every mathematical representation, a propensity characterising all my endeavours. Here only those contributions of which I am proud should be mentioned (there are plenty of which I am not). In consumer theory, I resolved the non-integrability paradox, following with analyses of stochastic choice, want hierarchy, uncertainty vs. risk, qualitative residual, all demonstrating the difficulty of measurement, even in production theory.

    Intrigued by the disregard of marginal pricing in Romania’s economy, I offered an analytical justification of such economies, with the corollary that Walras’s system, although with a solution on paper, cannot always work because of its stringent initial conditions. On this line, I showed that even accretive growth cannot be represented by dynamic systems. My flow-fund model, negating the traditional production function, led me further into environmental economics and, by a Schumpeterian inspiration, into bioeconomics.

    Dialectics rather than arithmomorphism is my creed.

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    Born 1906