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Nicholas Kaldor

The Lord Kaldor
Born (1908-05-12)12 May 1908
Budapest, Hungary
Died 30 September 1986(1986-09-30) (aged 78)
Papworth Everard, Cambridgeshire, England
Nationality Great Britain
Field Political economy
School or tradition
Post-Keynesian economics
Influences John Maynard Keynes , Gunnar Myrdal
Influenced Joan Robinson, Tony Thirlwall, Manmohan Singh
Contributions Kaldor–Hicks efficiency
Kaldor's growth laws
Circular Cumulative Causation

Nicholas Kaldor, Baron Kaldor (12 May 1908 – 30 September 1986), born Káldor Miklós, was a Cambridge economist in the post-war period. He developed the "compensation" criteria called Kaldor–Hicks efficiency for welfare comparisons (1939), derived the cobweb model, and argued for certain regularities observable in economic growth, which are called Kaldor's growth laws.[1] Kaldor worked alongside Gunnar Myrdal to develop the key concept Circular Cumulative Causation, a multicausal approach where the core variables and their linkages are delineated. Both Myrdal and Kaldor examine circular relationships, where the interdependencies between factors are relatively strong, and where variables interlink in the determination of major processes. Gunnar Myrdal got the concept from Knut Wicksell and developed it alongside Nicholas Kaldor when they worked together at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Myrdal concentrated on the social provisioning aspect of development, while Kaldor concentrated on demand-supply relationships to the manufacturing sector. Kaldor also coined the term "convenience yield"[2] related to commodity markets and the so-called theory of storage, which was initially developed by Holbrook Working.


  • Life 1
  • Works 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


He was born Káldor Miklós in Budapest, and was educated there, as well as in Berlin, and at the London School of Economics, where he subsequently became an assistant lecturer and then, by 1938, a lecturer. Between 1943 and 1945 Kaldor worked for the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and in 1947 he resigned from the LSE to become Director of Research and Planning at the Economic Commission for Europe. He was elected to a Fellowship at King's College, Cambridge and offered a lectureship in the Economics Faculty of the University in 1949. He became a Reader in Economics in 1952, and Professor in 1966.

From 1964, Kaldor was an advisor to the Labour government of the UK and also advised several other countries, producing some of the earliest memoranda regarding the creation of value added tax. Inter alia, Kaldor was considered, with his fellow-Hungarian Thomas Balogh, one of the intellectual authors of the 1964–70 Harold Wilson's government's short-lived Selective Employment Tax (SET) designed to tax employment in service sectors while subsidising employment in manufacturing. In 1966, he became professor of economics at the University of Cambridge. On 9 July 1974, Kaldor was made a life peer as Baron Kaldor, of Newnham in the City of Cambridge.[3]

Professor Kaldor was invited by then Prime Minister of India- Jawaharlal Nehru- to design an expenditure tax system for India in the 1950s. He also went to Centre for Development Studies (CDS), India in 1985 to inaugurate and deliver the first Joan Robinson Memorial Lecture and owing to these links, the Kaldor family most graciously donated his entire person collection to the CDS Library. There are 362 books in the collection and it covers a wide range of books in economic theory, classical political economy, business cycles, history of economic thought etc.

Married to Clarissa Goldsmith, a prominent figure in Cambridge city life, he had four daughters, including Frances Stewart, Professor of Economic Development at the University of Oxford, and Mary Kaldor, Professor of Human Security at the London School of Economics.

He died in Papworth Everard, Cambridgeshire.


  • The Case Against Technical Progress, 1932, Economica
  • The Determinateness of Static Equilibrium, 1934, RES
  • The Equilibrium of the Firm, 1934, EJ
  • Market Imperfection and Excess Capacity, 1935, Economica
  • Pigou on Money Wages in Relation to Unemployment, 1937, EJ
  • 1939, Welfare propositions of economics and interpersonal comparisons of utility. Economic Journal 49:549–52.
  • Speculation and Economic Stability, 1939, RES
  • Capital Intensity and the Trade Cycle, 1939, Economica
  • A Model of the Trade Cycle, 1940, EJ
  • Professor Hayek and the Concertina Effect, 1942, Economica
  • The Relation of Economic Growth and Cyclical Fluctuations, 1954 EJ
  • An Expenditure Tax, 1955.
  • Alternative Theories of Distribution, 1956, RES
  • A Model of Economic Growth, 1957, EJ
  • Monetary Policy, Economic Stability, and Growth, 1958.
  • Economic Growth and the Problem of Inflation, 1959, Economica.
  • A Rejoinder to Mr. Atsumi and Professor Tobin, 1960, RES
  • Keynes's Theory of the Own-Rates of Interest, 1960, in Kaldor, 1960.
  • Essays on Value and Distribution, 1960.
  • Essays on Economic Stability and Growth, 1960.
  • Capital Accumulation and Economic Growth, 1961, in Lutz, editor, Theory of Capital
  • A New Model of Economic Growth, with James A. Mirrlees, 1962, RES
  • The Case for a Commodity Reserve Currency, with A.G. Hart and J. Tinbergen, 1964, UNCTAD
  • Essays on Economic Policy, 1964, two volumes.
  • Causes of the Slow Rate of Economic Growth in the UK, 1966.
  • The Case for Regional Policies, 1970, Scottish JE.
  • The New Monetarism, 1970, Lloyds Bank Review
  • Conflicts in National Economic Objectives, 1971, EJ
  • The Irrelevance of Equilibrium Economics, 1972, EJ
  • What is Wrong with Economic Theory, 1975, QJE
  • Inflation and Recession in the World Economy, 1976, EJ
  • Equilibrium Theory and Growth Theory, 1977, in Boskin, editor, Economics and Human Welfare.
  • Capitalism and Industrial Development, 1977, Cambridge JE
  • Further Essays on Economic Theory, 1978.
  • The Role of Increasing Returns, Technical Progress and Cumulative Causation..., 1981, Economie Appliquee
  • Fallacies on Monetarism, 1981, Kredit und Kapital.
  • The Scourge of Monetarism, 1982.
  • The economic consequences of Mrs. Thatcher, 1983.
  • The Role of Commodity Prices in Economic Recovery, 1983, Lloyds Bank Review
  • Keynesian Economics After Fifty Years, 1983, in Trevithick and Worswick, editors, Keynes and the Modern World
  • Economics Without Equilibrium, 1985.

See also


  1. ^ Kaldor, N. (1967) Strategic Factors in Economic Development, New York, Ithaca
  2. ^ Kaldor, N. (1939) "Speculation and economic stability, The Review of Economic Studies
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46352. p. 7918. 24 September 1974.

Further reading

  • Thirlwall, Anthony P. (1987). Nicholas Kaldor. New York: New York University Press. 
  • Memorandum on the value added tax, Labour NEC archives, 1963

External links

  • The Scourge of Monetarism (1982)
  • Biography
  • Kaldor Business Cycle Model by Elmer G. Wiens
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