Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

Jan Tinbergen and Hendrik de Man: From Cultural to Plan Socialism

Dekker Erwin, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This paper demonstrates the deep influence of Hendrik de Man, a Belgian socialist on Jan Tinbergen during the 1920's and 1930's. Hendrik de Man was famous for his cultural socialism and his Plan de Man formulated in 1933 which suggested a way out of the 1930's crisis, along planning lines but quite distinct from Soviet planning. The planning idea in the work of De Man and Tinbergen is not concerned primarily with the means of planning, but rather with the task that a society sets itself and which it should try to achieve. It will be demonstrated that this distinct notion of planning is influential for Tinbergen's post-war policy work as well as his later development work. In this work a rational way of thinking about policy goals is developed without a commitment to set of planning instruments, let alone to central planning. The paper is based on the archival material of Jan Tinbergen, and is part of a bigger project to write the biography of Jan Tinbergen.


Keywords: Jan Tinbergen, central planning, social-democracy, Hendrik de Man

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