Gottfried Haberler

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Gottfried Haberler
Born(1900-07-20)July 20, 1900
DiedMay 6, 1995(1995-05-06) (aged 94)
Institution Harvard University
Field International economics
School or
Austrian School
Alma mater University of Vienna
Othmar Spann
Ludwig von Mises
Richard E. Caves
Influences Friedrich von Wieser

Gottfried von Haberler (German: [ˈhaːbɐlɐ] ; July 20, 1900 – May 6, 1995) was an Austrian-American economist. He worked in particular on international trade. One of his major contributions was reformulating the Ricardian idea of comparative advantage in a neoclassical framework, abandoning the labor theory of value for an opportunity cost concept. [1]


Haberler was born in Austria-Hungary in 1900, and was educated in the Austrian School of economics. In 1936 he moved to the United States, joining the economics department at Harvard University. There he worked alongside Joseph Schumpeter.

Haberler's two major works were Theory of International Trade (1936) and Prosperity and Depression (1937).

He was President of the International Economic Association (1950–1953).

In 1957 the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade commissioned a report on the terms of trade for primary commodities, and Haberler was appointed Chairman. The report found that there was a decline in the terms of trade for primary producers, since 1955 commodity prices were said to have fallen by 5%, while industrial prices rose by 6%. Haberler's report seems to echo the report written by Raúl Prebisch in 1949 as well as Hans Singer in 1950. However, when a second Prebisch's report for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) came out in 1964, Haberler denounced it. His particular disagreement was with the idea that there was a systematic long-term (secular) decline in the terms of trade.

In 1971, Haberler left Harvard to become a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

He died from Parkinson's disease in 1995. [2]

Major works

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  1. Baldwin, Robert E. (1982). "Gottfried Haberler's Contributions to International Trade Theory and Policy". Quarterly Journal of Economics . 97 (1): 141–48. doi:10.2307/1882631. JSTOR   1882631.
  2. "ECONOMIST GOTTFRIED HABERLER, A DEFENDER OF FREE TRADE, DIES". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 14, 2020.

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