János Kornai, Széchenyi Prize-winning economist, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, professor emeritus at Harvard University and Corvinus University, recipient of the French Order of Honour, honorary member of the Swedish, American and other academies, passed away this Monday evening in the 94th year of his life, the family told the state news agency MTI.
János Kornai was born in 1928 in Budapest. He graduated from the Budapest University of Sciences, was the economic editor of the daily Szabad Nép from 1947 and became a staff member of the Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1955. In 1966 he was awarded the title of Doctor of Economic Sciences, in 1976 he was elected a Corresponding Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and in 1982 a Full Member.
He was invited to be a visiting professor by several foreign universities: the University of Sussex in 1966, Stanford in 1968 and 1973, Yale in 1970, Princeton in 1972 and 1983, Stockholm in 1976-77 and Harvard in 1984-85. He was Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Development Planning Commission from 1972 to 1977.
He served as Head of the Department of Economics at the Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and was also a professor at the Collegium Budapest, the Budapest University of Economics and Business, and from 1986 at Harvard University in the USA.
He was a member of the Committee for Economic Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a member of the editorial board of the journal ‘Közgazdasági Szemle’ (Economic Review). He was elected a Foreign Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences and Arts, the British Academy, the Royal Swedish Academy, the Finnish Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Turin.
His main research interests were mathematical methods of design, the economic application of mathematics and computer science, and the theory of economic mechanisms. His works on economics are available in ten languages. His best-known work is ‘The Deficit’, published in 1980.
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