Monday, June 23, 2014

The First European Meeting of the Econometric Society

Olav Bjerkholt has alerted me to an interesting new paper of his that documents a milestone gathering of econometricians. Titled, The First European Econometric Society Meeting, September 1931, Lausanne, Olav's paper was presented at the 18th Annual ESHET Conference at the Universit√© de Lausanne, last month.

You'll recall that I've mentioned Olav's work previously on this blog - here, here, and most recently, here.

Here's the abstract from Olav's paper:
"The idea of an econometric association was conceived in Europe in 1926, the organization meeting founding the Econometric Society (ES) took place in the U.S.A. in 1930, while the first ES meeting was convened in Lausanne at the end of September 1931. The venue was deliberately chosen to honour Walras and Pareto. The meeting was hastily prepared and had few participants. The Lausanne meeting established the tradition of Econometric Society European Meetings (ESEMs). The paper gives an account of the meeting with excerpts from the exchange between Council Members of ES in 1931. The participation, paper topics and the emphasis on paying homage to econometric pioneers at the Lausanne meeting is set out. The Econometric Society was the first international organization in economics. At the end of the first year ES had 163 members distributed over residents in 19 countries. The multi-language, multinational character of the original venture of bringing together scholars in Europe who shared an interest in the econometric program generated a series of ESEMs of considerable importance for the development of econometrics, until sombre political events overshadowed the meetings. The paper is part of a history project within the Econometric Society."
If you have an interest in the history of our discipline - and I think you should (!), then you'll find this paper extremely valuable.

© 2014, David E. Giles