The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Palgrave Macmillan

Hagen, Everett Einar (1906–1993)

  • Robert R. Nathan
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95121-5_776-2

Abstract

Hagen was born in Holloway, Minnesota. He graduated from St Olaf College (BA, 1927) and the University of Wisconsin (MA, 1932; Ph.D., 1941). After a short period at the University of Illinois (1948–51) he became professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1953–72); from 1970 to 1972 he was Director of the Center for International Studies at MIT.

Keywords

Economic development Keynesianism New deal Population growth Technical change Unemployment 

JEL Classifications

B31 

Hagen was born in Holloway, Minnesota. He graduated from St Olaf College (BA, 1927) and the University of Wisconsin (MA, 1932; Ph.D., 1941). After a short period at the University of Illinois (1948–51) he became professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1953–72); from 1970 to 1972 he was Director of the Center for International Studies at MIT.

Since the Second World War, developing nations have received unprecedented attention from economists and large financial resources from the industrialized world. Dr. Hagen was an important contributor to analysing key problems and processes of economic development.

Before concentrating on economic development, Hagen served in the Bureau of the Budget as a close associate of Gerhard Colm in the application of Keynesian principles to US fiscal policies. His firm commitment to Keynes’s concepts was a factor in his transfer to the MIT from the University of Illinois, where more traditionalist faculty and top officialdom were hostile to the views of Keynes and of the New Deal.

In his book On the Theory of Social Change (1962), Hagen correctly concluded that economics alone could not provide the theoretical or policy directions for economic development. He studied deeply the role of human behaviour based on studies of anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists. Hagen’s multidisciplinary approach provided invaluable insights for formulating development plans and policies.

In his fourth edition of The Economics of Development (1986), Hagen continued to elaborate on theoretical aspects as well as policies and implementation processes essential for development progress. Hagen updates the most promising lessons from successful nations replicable in the lagging nations.

Hagen disputes the common view that high population growth rates are a major deterrent to development. He also documents the thesis that protectionism is helpful to the developing world. He sets forth a strong case for attributing considerable unemployment to technological change. These somewhat unorthodox views are persuasively articulated and documented.

Of major importance are Hagen’s conceptual formulations, his analyses based on personal experiences, and his challenges to economists and members of other disciplines to work jointly to overcome the persistent barriers to significant progress in the lagging nations.

Selected Works

  • 1962. On the theory of social change. Homewood: Dorsey Press.

  • 1963. ed. Planning economic development. Homewood: Richard D. Irwin.

  • 1968. The economics of development. Homewood: Richard D. Irwin. Revised, 1980, 1986.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert R. Nathan
    • 1
  1. 1.