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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1989
Trygve Haavelmo

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Banquet Speech

Trygve Haavelmo's speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1989

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I should like to keep my own person in the background in this connection, overwhelmed as I am by the honour that has fallen upon me.

My admiration for their wisdom and foresight should go to those persons and institutions who are responsible for the existence of this particular Prize. My scientific profession should of course be grateful for authoritative recognition of work done. The field that I represent is perhaps one where recognition is particularly welcome and encouraging, and for this reason: We are not used to being thanked for what we do. If we warn against an economic set-back and get heard, the set-back may not materialize and we are called pessimists. On the other hand, if we stick to polite academic modesty and do not get heard, the set-back may come and we meet the usual verdict: Why did you not tell us! That is, heads you win, tails I lose. But for us there is only one conclusion that is tenable. We will continue to do our best. I bow my head in gratitude on behalf of my fellow economists and myself for the encouragement we have received here today.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1989, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1990

 

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1989
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This Prize was established in memory of Alfred Nobel.