Gunnar Myrdal (6 December 1898 – 17 May 1987) was a Swedish economist, sociologist, and politician. He is known for his contributions to the study of economic growth, social welfare, and race relations.
Life and Career
He was born on 6 December 1898, in Gustafs, Sweden. He attended the University of Stockholm to study economics.
During his university years, Myrdal became interested in the intersection of economics and social issues, such as poverty and inequality. This interest would shape his career and his work as an economist and social scientist.
His career as an economist began in the 1920s when he worked for the Swedish government as an economic advisor. He later became a professor of economics at the University of Stockholm and continued to work as an advisor to the government.
Myrdal’s most influential work was his study of race relations in the United States, which was published in 1944 under the title “An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy”. The book was a landmark study of race relations and social policy and was widely read and debated in the United States.
In “An American Dilemma”, he argued that racial inequality in the United States was not just a moral problem but also an economic one. He called for a comprehensive program of social reform and government intervention to address the root causes of inequality and discrimination.
He died on 17 May 1987, in Danderyd, Sweden.
Award and Legacy
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974 for his contributions to the study of economic growth and welfare.
His work as an economist and social scientist was recognized with numerous awards and honors during his lifetime. In addition to the Nobel Prize in Economics, he was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award and the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal.
His legacy as a social scientist and economist continues to be felt today. His work on race relations and social policy influenced the civil rights movement in the United States and the development of the modern welfare state in Sweden.
Myrdal’s ideas on social reform and government intervention continue to be relevant in today’s debates on inequality and social justice. His legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of rigorous research and analysis in the pursuit of social progress.