Albert O. Hirschman

Albert Otto Hirschman[1] (born Otto-Albert Hirschmann; April 7, 1915 – December 10, 2012) was an economist and the author of several books on political economy and political ideology. His first major contribution was in the area of development economics.[2] Here he emphasized the need for unbalanced growth. He argued that disequilibria should be encouraged to stimulate growth and help mobilize resources, because developing countries are short of decision making skills. Key to this was encouraging industries with many linkages to other firms.

Albert Otto Hirschman
Hirschman (left) interpreting for the accused German Anton Dostler in Italy 1945
Born(1915-04-07)April 7, 1915
DiedDecember 10, 2012(2012-12-10) (aged 97)
FieldPolitical economy
Alma materUniversity of Trieste

London School of Economics

University of Paris
ContributionsHiding hand principle
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

His later work was in political economy and there he advanced two schemata. The first describes the three basic possible responses to decline in firms or polities (quitting, speaking up, staying quiet) in Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (1970).[3] The second describes the basic arguments made by conservatives (perversity, futility and jeopardy) in The Rhetoric of Reaction (1991).

In World War II, he played a key role in rescuing refugees in occupied France.