EAEPE's Honorary Presidents are amongst the finest economists and crtitical thinkers of the 20th century. EAEPE promotes their ideas and the fact that these leading figures act as patrons to the association reflects EAEPE's position as an important association promoting critical thought in the social sciences.
Richard R. Nelson (b. 1930) is one of the world's leading scholars in the field of technical change. Together with Sidney Winter he has been leading the way for a renaissance of Schumpeterian ideas in the study of technical change, innovation and growth. Their book, An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), published in 1982, has had an enormous impact. It is now a standard reference for every scholar working in the field of economic growth and innovation. His recent Technology, Institutions and Economic Growth (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), published in 2005, is a full-blown attack on the standard neoclassical theory of economic growth, outlining instead the co-evolution of technology, institutions and industrial structures.
EAEPE's Past Honorary Presidents
Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906-1994) was one of the key intellectual progenitors of modern ecological economics. Although early in his career he made pioneering contributions to mathematical economics, particularly to linear programming and general equilibrium theory, he called for an entirely different paradigm for economics in his 1971 magnum opus, The Entropy Law and the Economics Process (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), which used ideas from both biology and thermodynamics to describe the mechanisms governing economics processes and systems. These ideas were collected in his Energy and Economic Myths: Institutional and Analytical Economic Essays (New York: Pergamon), published in 1976.
Janos Kornai (1928-2021) was among the first to initiate the use of mathematical methods in economic planning. He became widely known for his early criticism of central economic planning in command economies, pointing to systemic flaws in the institutional set-up in the Eastern European communist states. In his seminal work Anti-Equilibrium: On Economic Systems Theory and the Tasks of Research (Amsterdam: North-Holland) published in 1971, he sharply criticised Walrasian neoclassical economics. This book was the intellectual starting point for his critical work on command economies. His autobiography has been published in 2007 under the title By the Force of Thought: Irregular Memoirs of an Intellectual Journey (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).
Douglass C. North (1920-2015) is one of the leading economic historians and institutionalist economists. From early on his research focused on the role of institutions for economic development. His main books include Structure and Change in Economic History (New York: W.W. Norton), published in 1981, Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), published in 1990, and more recently, Understanding the Process of Economic Change (Princeton: Princeton University Press), published in 2005. For these seminal contributions he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1993.
Luigi Pasinetti (1930-2023) was an eminent critical economists. He has contributed substantially to the Neo-Ricardian as well as the Post-Keynesian Theory. He is best know for his leading role in the Cambridge-Cambridge controversy on capital theory, where the theorists from Cambridge UK (amongst others including people like Joan Robinson, Piero Garegnani or Piero Sraffa) showed to the economists in Cambridge Mass. (Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow, David Levhari, amongst others) with ultimate rigour that the mainstream approach to the theory of value, production and distribution is logically inconsistent except for limit cases. His well-known books include Lectures on the Theory of Production (London: Macmillan), published in 1977, Structural Change and Economic Growth: A Theoretical Essay of the Dynamics of the Wealth of Nations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), published in 1981, and Structural Economic Dynamics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), published in 1993.
Edith T. Penrose (1914-1996) was a creative and empirically-oriented economist, best known for her work on the drivers of and constraints on firm growth, published in 1959 as The Theory of the Growth of the Firm (Oxford: Blackwell). This book is now regarded as one of the classic foundational texts in the capabilities or resource-based theory of the firm, and is widely cited in strategic management. Although in the 1950s she was critical of 'biological analogies' in economics, she became much more sympathetic of evolutionary approaches in the 1980s. Among other important contribution, her The Economics of the International Patent System (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press), published in 1951, was one of the earliest works on the topic.
Kurt Rothschild (1914-2010) was known as an important early contributor to Post-Keynesian theory. His work spanned a wide array of topics. He was probably best known for his research on price theory and oligopoly as well as his contributions to the theory of wages and unemployment, from his 1954 book, The Theory of Wages (Oxford: Blackwell), to the collection of essays published in 1993, Employment, Wages and Income Distribution (London: Routledge). Books like Ethics and Economic Theory (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar), also published in 1993, are testimony to his outstanding scholarship and critical thinking.
George L. S. Shackle (1903-1992) was one of the first Post-Keynesian economists. Combining insights from both Austrian and Keynesian economics, he wrote a number of classic and beautifully-written books on the roles of radical uncertainty and time in economic theory, and focused on the problem of obtaining reliable knowledge throughout his career in publications ranging from his 1938 PhD thesis, Expectations, Investment and Income (London: Oxford University Press), to Decision Order and Time in Human Affairs (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), published in 1969, and to Epistemics and Economics: A Critique of Economic Doctrines (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), published in 1972. His Years of High Theory: Invention and Tradition in Economic Thought, 1926-1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), published in 1967, also made an important contribution to the history of economic thought.
Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001) was a prolific author whose contributions range across the fields of cognitive psychology, cognitive science, computer science, public admistration, economics, management, philosophy of science and other disciplines. He was a pioneer of decision theory, articificial intelligence, computer simulations and complex systems theory. Critical of mainstream rational choice approaches, he coined the terms 'bounded rationality', 'satisficing' and 'behavioral economics'. His classic works include Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organizations (New York: Macmillan), published in 1947, Models of Man (New York: Wiley), published in 1957, and The Sciences of the Artificial (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), published in 1969. For these seminal contributions he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1978.