(October 2017) The following obituary for former research fellow Just Faaland was submitted by Bernt Hagtvet, Research student Nuffield 1975/6, Director of Research, Programme of Human Rights Studies, Chr. Michelsen Institute, 1983-94.
Just Faaland, one of the most prominent developmental economists in Norway and head of the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen for 28 years until 1988, died February 17th 2017, aged 95.
Faaland had a long-standing relation to Oxford. He was born in Tromsø in 1922 but was raised in Oslo. He was first trained as an actuary specialist at the University of Oslo but finished his studies in economics after the war. The delay was caused by underground war-time activities Nazi- occupied Norway. In 1943 the Nazis arrested all the Norwegian students and sent half of them to Buchenwald KZ. Some were released, but not Faaland. The reason seems to have been his father’s undergound resistance activities. Faaland remained incarcerated until May 1945.
Faaland came to Wadham College in the fall of 1945. There he became the student of Donald McDougall and attended seminars with Tommy Balough, an ardent proponent of nationalization and a man against the EEC. Balough later became economic advisor to Harold Wilson. Intermittently, Faaland worked as an assistant to Prof. Ragnar Frisch who shared the first Nobel Prize Economic Science with Jan Tinbergen in 1972.
In Oxford he worked on a doctoral degree on trade and employment but it remained unfinished. In 1954-55 he stayed in Nuffield College as a Research Fellow working on international trade and customs unions. In Nuffield he got acquainted with J.R. Hicks who later was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. In his book, A Revision of Demand Theory, Hicks thanks Faaland for making "a number of most useful suggestions, some of which…I was able to adopt".
In 1948 Faaland was invited to the OEEC in Paris to work on co-ordinating the Marshall Plan in Europe, in particular to eliminate trade restrictions between the member states. His teacher in Oxford, McDougall, was a prominent member of the secretariat and was probably behind the appointment. In 1948 Faaland worked in the Economics Division and became Head of Division for Country Studies. This office was responsible for work in "the colonies". In 1950 he arranged a mission to Costa Rica, a trip which helped turn his interests towards developmental economics and work to improve the life chances in the developing world.
In 1952 Faaland was nominated at age 30 to become a member of the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen. This institute was founded in 1930 by the gift of Chr. Michelsen, wealthy shipowner and Norwegian Prime Minister in 1905 at the time of the peaceful dissolution of the union with Sweden. He gave a substantial sum for the establishment of the CMI, as it was known, an independent research institute for the natural and social sciences and the humanities. In 1958 another Nuffield associate, Stein Rokkan, was also nominated to a chair there and co-operated intimately with Just Faaland in developing the institutes’s research in Economics, Political Science and later Social Anthropology.
In 1957 Faaland was hired by Harvard as a consultant to the government of Pakistan. Returning home he inaugurated an ambitious research programme at the CMI in developmental economics, financed by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations.
Just Faaland worked for the governments in Pakistan and Malaysia, for the World Bank in Washington, DC, the ILO, the Food Programme and the UNDP in Bangladesh and in Washington. His vision in life as an academic and as an organizer of research was to contribute to the reduction of poverty in the world. Faaland had an extraordinary talent in transcending barriers. In Bergen, at the CMI, he organized the Development Research and Action Programme (DERAP) which was similar to the Harvard Development Advisory Service (DAS) combining academic study with on-site stays for better understanding of policy issues. At the CMI he also took the initiative to the systematic study of human rights and development. He was awarded honorary doctorates at the University of Bergen and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In Malaysia he was responsible for drafting economic policies which have contributed to reducing social inequalities in that country. In 2001 he was awarded the Malaysian Merkeda Prize for this work. In Norway he was given the prestigious Order of St. Olav for his service. Today 70 researchers are employed at the CMI with a budget of GBP 8 mill annually.
Just Faaland was one of the 70 people interviewed by the UN Intellectual History Project. His list of publications include more than 450 books, articles, reports and consultancies. As a research director Just Faaland was a generous spirit, constantly reminding me of his enduring ties with Nuffield.
(October 2017) Kaspar has moved back to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he will work at ATP (the fourth biggest pension fund in Europe) as a senior portfolio manager. Prior to this, he worked at Goldman Sachs in London from 2012-2017 (initially as a senior economist within the Global Investment Research Division and later as an executive director within Goldman Sachs Asset Management) after finishing his DPhil at Nuffield.
(August 2017) Alison was awarded a Personal in Social Policy and Research Methods at the University of Edinburgh.
(Spring 2017) Alex has been working as a research at RAND Europe, part of the RAND Corporation, since 2013. His work focuses primarily on public policy evaluation, covering education, criminal justice and social policy more broadly. He is currently leading several randomised controlled field trials in education, as well as looking at the use of ambulance data for injury surveillance. There have been two further additions to the Sutherland household since Alex left Nuffield. Rosie (6) was joined by Matilda (3) and Harry (1).