Trygve Haavelmo

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

To cite this section
MLA style: Trygve Haavelmo – Banquet speech. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Sat. 9 Dec 2023. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Streams during Nobel Week

Watch the 2023 Nobel Prize lectures, the Nobel Prize Concert, Nobel Week Dialogue, the prize award ceremonies in Oslo and Stockholm and Nobel Peace Prize Forum here at
Watch lectures and award ceremonies

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.