Lawrence R. Klein 1920-2013: Notes on the Early Years

Posted: 12 Apr 2014 Last revised: 17 Mar 2016

See all articles by Olav Bjerkholt

Olav Bjerkholt

University of Oslo - Department of Economics; Frisch Centre

Date Written: July 22, 2014


Lawrence R. Klein can well be said to have created the field of macroeconometric modelling and his international influence started at an early stage. The article offers scattered observations on Klein’s early years from undergraduate study to the University of Pennsylvania in 1958. Klein was in 1944 hired by the Cowles Commission in Chicago to construct the first macroeconomic models in the USA, drawing on the experiences of the interwar modeling work of Jan Tinbergen and the new path-breaking econometric methods developed by Trygve Haavelmo. The first Klein model was taken into use at the end of 1945 to shed light on the prospect for the US economy in the transition from war to peace. After three years in Chicago, Klein travelled for a year in Europe and initiated macroeconometric modeling work in Canada, the University of Michigan, and Oxford University. This was only the beginning of the lifelong influence Klein exerted on modelers around the globe. The article pays attention to Klein’s relations with Paul Samuelson, Jacob Marschak, Trygve Haavelmo, Ragnar Frisch, and others.

Keywords: Lawrence Klein

JEL Classification: B31, B32, B23

Suggested Citation

Bjerkholt, Olav, Lawrence R. Klein 1920-2013: Notes on the Early Years (July 22, 2014). Bjerkholt, O. Lawrence R. Klein 1920–2013: Notes on the early years. Journal of Policy Modeling 36 (2014) 767-784, Available at SSRN: or

Olav Bjerkholt (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1095 Blindern
N-0317 Oslo

Frisch Centre ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo

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