Oslo, Grøndahl & Søns, 1926. 8vo. In the original modest boards with cloth to spine. Red library stamp to front board and top of first page. Otherwise fine and clean. 40 pp.
First printing of Frisch's scarce landmark paper which not only coined the term "econometrics" but also introduced it as an entirely new economic discipline thereby holding a seminal position in 20th century economics. The paper was a powerful demonstration of the meaning of econometrics: mathematical precision in the formulation of theoretical concepts and relationships so as to make them quantifiable, and erudition and ingenuity in the application of statistical methods to available data. The paper drew up further perspectives for the development of the newly coined discipline. Frisch was in 1969 awarded the Nobel Prize in economics "for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes".
"The Sur un problème essay made a forceful impression on the small number of mathematically inclined economists who - like Irving Fisher - happened to be introduced to it. It was not translated and published in English until 1972 at the very end of Frisch's life. The paper would deserve a place in the history of economics, even for no other reason than the opening sentences, which coined the first of Frisch's many - and by far the most important - contributions to the international terminology of the discipline" (Regnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research):
'Intermédiaire entre les mathématiques, la statistique et l'économie politique, nous trouvons une discipline nouvelle que l'on peut, faute de mieux, désigner sous le nom de l'économétrie. L'économétrie se pose le but de soumettre les lois abstraites de l'economie politique théorique ou l'économie 'pure' à une vérification expérimentale et numeriques, et ainsi de constituer, autant que cela est possible, l'economie pure en une science dans le sens restreint de ce mot'
(i.e.'Intermediate between mathematics, statistics, and economics, we find a new discipline which for lack of a better name, may be called econometrics. Econometrics has as its aim to subject abstract laws of theoretical political economy or 'pure' economics to experimental and numerical verification, and thus to turn pure economics, as far as possible, into a science in the strict sense of the word'.).
Frisch's paper on economics had been prepared largely during his stay in Paris in the preceding years. Since 1923 Frisch had published some papers in theoretical statistics, but he was on a course to become - for lack of a better term - a mathematical economist, firmly determined to give his scientific contribution within economics. He had prepared himself for the task by far-reaching studies in mathematics and statistics in addition to his readings of economic literature. The two professors of economics in Norway at this time belonged to the Faculty of Law, and there was no research institution or separate university department in economics. Hence, colleagues with related scientific interests had by and large to be found abroad, and Frisch had established connections, mostly within Europe, by travels and correspondence.
Frisch was one of the founders of economics in general as a modern science. He coined a number of new words including econometrics and macroeconomics. He helped set up Neo-Walrasian research. He formalized production theory. In econometrics he worked on time series and linear regression analysis. With Frederick Waugh, he introduced the celebrated Frisch-Waugh theorem (Econometrica1933) (sometimes referred to as the Frisch-Waugh-Lovell theorem). His 1933 work on impulse-propagation business cycles became one of the principles of modern New Classical business cycle theory. He also helped introduce econometric modeling to government economic planning and accounting. He was one of the founders of the Econometric Society and editor of Econometrica for over twenty years. The Frisch Medal, so named in his honor, is given every two years for the best paper published in the Econometrica in the previous five years. (The New Palgrave).