Erik S. Reinert

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Erik Steenfeldt Reinert
Erik Reinert.JPG
Born (1949-02-15) 15 February 1949 (age 69)
Oslo, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Citizenship Norway
Institution Tallinn University of Technology
Field Development economics
Economic history
Alma mater University of St. Gallen (B.A.)
Harvard University (M.B.A.)
Cornell University (Ph.D)
Influences Friedrich List
Thorstein Veblen
Ragnar Nurkse
Joseph A. Schumpeter
Gunnar Myrdal
John Maynard Keynes
Awards Gunnar Myrdal Prize
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Erik Steenfeldt Reinert (born 15 February 1949) is a Norwegian economist, with development economics and economic history as his specialties.


Reinert was born in Oslo, attended the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland (where he studied economics), Harvard University (MBA), and Cornell University (Ph.D.). Already during his studies, he spent time in Latin America, working with a community development project in the Peruvian Andes, as well as in private industry. In 1972 he founded and later developed a small industrial firm, Matherson-Selig, later shortened to Matherson SpA,(color sampling to the paint and automotive industries) in Bergamo, Italy. Adding production plants also in Norway and Finland, the company had become the largest of its kind in Europe when Reinert sold it in 1991.

Reinert then worked for the STEP group in Oslo (1991–1995) and later became Director of Research of the Norsk Investorforum, a think tank set up by large Norwegian corporations (1995–2000). He also held a part-time position at The Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), a research institution established by the University of Oslo. In 2000, he became the Executive Chairman of The Other Canon Foundation, a small center and network for heterodox economics research. Since 2004, he is Professor of Technology Governance and Development Strategies at the Tallinn University of Technology in Tallinn, Estonia. He lectures in five languages.[1]

Reinert’s research interests and publications focus around the theory of uneven development and the history of economic thought and policy.[citation needed] As a consultant, Reinert's emphasis is on industrial and economic policy, the preconditions and management of innovations, and the relations between financial and production capital.[citation needed]

Reinert’s ideas are controversial in libertarian and neoliberal circles in Norway, but also in Marxist ones.[citation needed] Representatives of those views, accordingly, have challenged his arguments in the daily press and sparked a controversy about national economic development in Norway.[citation needed] His most recent English-language book, How Rich Countries Got Rich ... and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor (2007), has had a similarly discussion-raising effect internationally, as it has been widely noted, reviewed, and discussed as well. While some reviews, like those in Prospect Magazine and The Economist, were dismissive.[2] many – including those from the developing countries – were positive[3][4] and even those in publications generally opposed to Reinert’s framework, such as by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times,[5] have been critical yet called the book an important contribution to the debate.[6][7] By now, the book is out in Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Estonian. The Norwegian original has also been translated to Serbo-Croatian and published by Cigoja stampa in Serbia.

In 2008, Reinert received the annual Gunnar Myrdal Prize as best monograph in evolutionary political economy,[8] and in 2010 he was the only Norwegian economist invited to the Cambridge opening conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, financed by George Soros.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Globalization, Economic Development and Inequality: An Alternative Perspective (2004), ed. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Global Økonomi. Hvordan de rike ble rike og hvorfor fattige blir fattigere (Global Economy. How the rich got rich and why the poor get poorer) (2004). Oslo: Spartacus. Serbian translation (2006) Belgrade: Cigoja.
  • The Origins of Economic Development. How Schools of Economic Thought have Addressed Development (2005), co-edited with KS Jomo. London: Zed / New Delhi: Tulika.
  • How Rich Countries Got Rich ... and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor (2007), London: Constable.
  • Techno-Economic Paradigms: Essays in Honour of Carlota Perez (2009), co-ed. London: Anthem.
  • Ragnar Nurkse (1907–2007): Classical Development Economics and its Relevance for Today (2009), co-ed. London: Anthem.
  • Ragnar Nurkse: Trade and Development (2009), co-ed. London: Anthem.

Downloadable recent working papers[edit]


  1. ^ Other Canon | Documenting The Other Canon
  2. ^ "Essays: 'For richer and for poorer' by Paul Collier | Prospect Magazine June 2007 issue 135". Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  3. ^ - Review of How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor
  4. ^ [1],
  5. ^ "/ Books / Non-Fiction – The growth of nations". 2007-07-21. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  6. ^ "The new attack on free trade". Marginal Revolution. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  7. ^ Last Updated: 12:36PM BST 19 Jun 2007 (2007-06-19). "An assault on the efficacy of free trade". Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  8. ^ "EALAT WP leader Erik Reinert Wins Myrdal Prize". Arctic Portal. 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 

External links[edit]