The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Palgrave Macmillan

Hirschman, Albert Otto (born 1915)

  • M. S. McPherson
Living reference work entry


Hirschman was born on 7 April 1915 in Berlin. After attending the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics he obtained a doctorate in economic science from the University of Trieste in 1938. His early career was dominated by the struggle against fascism in Europe (Coser 1984). He actively supported the underground opposition to Mussolini while in Italy in the mid-1930s, fought with the Spanish Republican Army in 1936 and later with the French Army until its defeat in June 1940. He stayed on in Marseilles six months more, engaging in clandestine operations to rescue political and intellectual refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. He avoided arrest by leaving France for the United States in January 1941. There he produced his first book, National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade (1945), which introduced some of the main themes of what is now called ‘dependency theory’.


Foreign Trade Early Career Dependency Theory Economic Science Market Society 
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  1. Coser, A. 1984. Refugee scholars in America: Their impact and their experiences. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. McPherson
    • 1
  1. 1.