The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1977
Born: 23 April 1899, Klippan, Sweden
Died: 3 August 1979, Vålådalen, Sweden
Affiliation at the time of the award: Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden
Prize motivation: “for their pathbreaking contribution to the theory of international trade and international capital movements”
Prize share: 1/2
Bertil Ohlin was born in Klippan, Sweden to a large family with seven children. As mathematics was his best subject at school, he entered the University of Lund to study mathematics, statistics and economics. He was a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics from 1929-1965, and also the leader of Liberalerna, a Swedish political party, from 1944-1967.
Bertil Ohlin’s classic work, Interregional and International Trade (1933), brought him recognition as founder of the modern theory of international trade. He developed a theory that demonstrated which factors determine the pattern of foreign trade and the international division of labor on the one hand, and on the other, showed what effect foreign trade has on the allocation of resources, price relations and the distribution of income.