Theodore W. Schultz


Theodore W. Schultz

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Theodore W. Schultz
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1979

Born: 30 April 1902, Arlington, SD, USA

Died: 26 February 1998, Evanston, IL, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Prize motivation: “for their pioneering research into economic development research with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries”

Prize share: 1/2


Theodore Schultz was born in Arlington, South Dakota, USA. His schooling was disrupted by the shortage of labor during WWI. Although dropping out of school at age 14, he eventually enrolled in college and went on to study at the University of Wisconsin, earning his doctorate in 1930. He married his wife Esther the same year. Throughout his career, Esther worked as his editor, and he acknowledged her work in his Economic Sciences lecture.


The main characteristic of Theodore Schultz’s studies is that he treated agricultural economy as an integral part of the entire economy. His analytical interest was focused on the imbalance between relative poverty and underdevelopment in agriculture compared with the higher productivity and higher income levels in industry and other urban economic activities.

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