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Renowned Economist Kornai Dies Aged 94

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.10.19.

Economist János Kornai, holder of the Szechenyi Prize and the French Legion of Honour, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, professor emeritus at Harvard and Budapest’s Corvinus universities, died at age 94, his family told MTI late on Monday.

Born in Budapest in 1928, Kornai worked as an economic journalist from 1947 and as a member of the scientific academy’s Economy Institute from 1955. In 1976 he became the academy’s correspondent, and was elected a regular member in 1982.

From 1966 on, he lectured at several prestigious universities abroad, inlcuding Stanford, Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.

His research included areas such as mathematical methods in planning, applying mathemathics and information technology in the economy, and economic mechanisms. His works have been translated into ten languages.

Kornai, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Harvard and Professor Emeritus at Corvinus, retired in 2002. He is recognized for his work as a theorist on both command and free-market economies, as well as for his research focusing on the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution and its aftermath, the comparative economics of socialism and capitalism, post-socialist transition, and the recent political and economic changes in Hungary. His works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Kornai was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europeae, and Foreign Member of the American, British, Bulgarian, Finnish, Russian, and Swedish Academies. He served as President of the Econometric Society, the European Economic Association, and the International Economic Association.

He received honorary doctorates from 15 universities and his works have been translated into more than twenty languages. In 2010, he was presented with Hungary’s highest state decoration, the Grand Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary.

Budapest's Corvinus University Honors Renowned Hungarian Economist János Kornai on His 90th Birthday
Budapest's Corvinus University Honors Renowned Hungarian Economist János Kornai on His 90th Birthday

"I am Hungarian, so I am particularly interested in developments in this country. Unfortunately, I have to say, I'm very worried,” the professor said.Continue reading

Featured photo by Zoltán Gergely Kelemen/MTI