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Erik Reinert


Erik Reinert

Erik Steenfeldt Reinert
Born (1949-02-15) 15 February 1949 (age 65)
Oslo, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Institution Tallinn University of Technology
Field Development Economics
Economic History
Alma mater University of St. Gallen (B.A.)
Harvard University (M.B.A.)
Cornell University (P.h.D)
Influences Joseph A. Schumpeter
Friedrich List
Awards Gunnar Myrdal Prize

Erik Steenfeldt Reinert (born 15 February 1949) is a Norwegian economist, with development economics and economic history as his specialties.


Reinert was born in Oslo, attended the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland (where he studied economics), Harvard University (MBA), and Cornell University (Ph.D.). Already during his studies, he spent time in Latin America, working with a community development project in the Peruvian Andes, as well as in private industry. In 1972 he founded and later developed a small industrial firm (color sampling to the paint and automotive industries) in Bergamo, Italy. Adding production plants also in Norway and Finland, the company had become the largest of its kind in Europe when Reinert sold it in 1991.

Reinert then worked for the STEP group in Oslo (1991–1995) and later became Director of Research of the Norsk Investorforum, a think tank set up by large Norwegian corporations (1995–2000). He also held a part-time position at The Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), a research institution established by the University of Oslo. In 2000, he became the Executive Chairman of The Other Canon Foundation, a small center and network for heterodox economics research. Since 2004, he is Professor of Technology Governance and Development Strategies at the Tallinn University of Technology in Tallinn, Estonia. He lectures in five languages.[1]

Reinert’s research interests and publications focus around the theory of uneven development and the history of economic thought and policy. As a consultant, Reinert's emphasis is on industrial and economic policy, the preconditions and management of innovations, and the relations between financial and production capital.

Reinert’s ideas are controversial in libertarian and neo-liberal circles in Norway, but also in Marxist ones. Representatives of those views, accordingly, have challenged his arguments in the daily press and sparked a controversy about national economic development in Norway. His most recent English-language book, How Rich Countries Got Rich ... and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor (2007), has had a similarly discussion-raising effect internationally, as it has been widely noted, reviewed, and discussed as well. While only one review, in Prospect Magazine, was dismissive.[2] many – including those from the developing countries – were positive[3][4] and even those in publications generally opposed to Reinert’s framework, such as by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times,[5] have been critical yet called the book an important contribution to the debate.[6][7] By now, the book is out in Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, Russian, and Estonian. The Norwegian original has also been translated to Serbo-Croatian and published by Cigoja stampa in Serbia.

In 2008, Reinert received the annual Gunnar Myrdal Prize as best monograph in evolutionary political economy,[8] and in 2010 he was the only Norwegian economist invited to the Cambridge opening conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, financed by George Soros.

Selected publications

  • Techno-Economic Paradigms: Essays in Honour of Carlota Perez (2009), co-ed. London: Anthem.
  • How Rich Countries Got Rich ... and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor (2007), London: Constable.
  • The Origins of Economic Development. How Schools of Economic Thought have Addressed Development (2005), co-edited with KS Jomo. London: Zed / New Delhi: Tulika.
  • Global Økonomi. Hvordan de rike ble rike og hvorfor fattige blir fattigere (Global Economy. How the rich got rich and why the poor get poorer) (2004). Oslo: Spartacus. Serbian translation (2006) Belgrade: Cigoja.
  • Globalization, Economic Development and Inequality: An Alternative Perspective (2004), ed. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Ragnar Nurkse (1907–2007): Classical Development Economics and its Relevance for Today (2009), co-ed. London: Anthem.
  • Ragnar Nurkse: Trade and Development (2009), co-ed. London: Anthem.

Downloadable recent working papers

  • RWER (60), pp. 2–17. 2012.
  • ", DESA Working Paper No. 88, United Nations. 2009.
  • Tallinn University of Technology. 2006.
  • "Development and Social Goals: Balancing Aid and Development to Prevent 'Welfare Colonialism'", United Nation Department of Economic and Social Affairs, DESA Working Paper No. 14. 2006. Portuguese translation in Oikos. Revista de Economia Heterodoxa 4(4), pp. 45–67. 2005.
  • "The Qualitative Shift in European Integration: Towards Permanent Wage Pressures and a 'Latin-Americanization' of Europe?" (with Rainer Kattel), PRAXIS Working Paper No. 17/2004.


External links

  • Profile on Other Canon website
  • website from where to download some of Reinert's articles

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