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Thomas Balogh (Baron Balogh)

economist

Thomas Balogh was a Hungarian-born economist lived in England, who specialized in planning, development, and labor economics; made life peer, 1968.

Background

Balogh was the elder son of a wealthy Budapest Jewish family, born in 1905.

Education

Balogh studied law and economics at the universities of Budapest and Berlin and subsequently was invited to the United States as a Rockefeller Fellow at Harvard University.

Career

During the 1930s he worked in France and Germany, eventually settling in England, where he was appointed lecturer at University College, London (1934-1939).

Balogh’s career at Oxford began as a lecturer at Baliiol College in 1939. In 1945 he was elected to a fellowship. While at Oxford he helped to establish the Institute of Statistics, which enabled refugee scholars to continue their work.

During World War II Balogh was chairman of the Mineral Development Committee. After the war he was appointed deputy chief of a United Nations mission to Hungary and soon after began to advise the governments of a number of underdeveloped countries, including India, Malta, and Jamaica.

In the late 1950s he served as advisor to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

After the Labour party’s victory in Parliament in 1964, Prime Minister Harold Wilson appointed Balogh adviser on economic affairs.

IIn 1968 he received a life peerage.

His influence in the government led to the creation of the Department of Economic Affairs to handle the planning and expansion of Britain’s economy. Balogh was also able to get economists placed in jobs, although it was said that he held most of the work done by economists in contempt. Still, he proclaimed the importance of professional training for economists and their usefulness to industry and government.

After the defeat of the Labour government in 1970, Balogh returned to Oxford and continued to teach and write. He retired in 1973, but the following year was called back into public service and was appointed minister of state at the Department of Energy. He played a key role in the creation of the British National Oil Corporation and served as its deputy chairman from 1976 to 1978.

Achievements

  • He played a key role in the creation of the British National Oil Corporation. In 1979 Balogh received an honorary doctorate from the University of Budapest.

Works

Politics

After the Labour party’s victory in Parliament in 1964, Prime Minister Harold Wilson appointed Balogh adviser on economic affairs. Balogh believed that the Labour government would be committed to policies of faster growth in Britain. He sup¬ported increased government involvement in industry. Balogh remained loyal to Wilson even in the face of economic policies of which he did not approve.