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Human Development: Piaget’s Cognitive Theory

Piaget’s Stages of Development

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

Piaget’s stages of cognitive development | Processing the Environment | MCAT | Khan Academy

Piaget’s Cognitive Development

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How to Memorize Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

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Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development: Ex-Schema Me?

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development


Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage

Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage

Sensorimotor Stage – 6 Substages

Piaget – Stage 2 – Preoperational – Lack of Conservation

Piaget’s Preoperational Stage.mov

Concrete Operations (Davidson Films, Inc.)

Child Psychology – Piaget – Concrete Operational Stage (Interview)

Piaget’s Concrete Operational Stage Questions

Formal operational stage – Intro to Psychology

formal operational child

Piaget’s Formal Operational

Piaget’s Formal Operational Stage

Formal Operational Stage Experiment

Piaget’s Formal Operational Stage

Piaget Experiment – Formal Operational Stage

Theories of Cognitive Development, including Piaget and Vygotsky pt1 Dr. Amanda Waterman

Theories of Cognitive Development, including Piaget and Vygotsky pt2 Dr. Amanda Waterman

Piaget on Piaget

The Growth of Knowledge: Crash Course Psychology #18

Monkeys and Morality: Crash Course Psychology #19

Adolescence: Crash Course Psychology #20


Piaget’s theory of cognitive development

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a comprehensive theory about the nature and development of human intelligence. It was first created by the Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980). The theory deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans gradually come to acquire, construct, and use it.[1] Piaget’s theory is mainly known as a developmental stage theory.

To Piaget, cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes resulting from biological maturation and environmental experience. He believed that children construct an understanding of the world around them, experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment, then adjust their ideas accordingly.[2] Moreover, Piaget claimed that cognitive development is at the center of the human organism, and language is contingent on knowledge and understanding acquired through cognitive development.[3] Piaget’s earlier work received the greatest attention.

Child-centered classrooms and “open education” are direct applications of Piaget’s views.[4] Despite its huge success, Piaget’s theory has some limitations that Piaget recognized himself: for example, the theory supports sharp stages rather than continuous development (décalage).[5]



Nature of intelligence: operative and figurative

Piaget noted that reality is a dynamic system of continuous change and, as such, is defined in reference to the two conditions that define dynamic systems. Specifically, he argued that reality involves transformations and states.[6] Transformations refer to all manners of changes that a thing or person can undergo. States refer to the conditions or the appearances in which things or persons can be found between transformations. For example, there might be changes in shape or form (for instance, liquids are reshaped as they are transferred from one vessel to another, and similarly humans change in their characteristics as they grow older), in size (for example, a series of coins on a table might be placed close to each other or far apart), or in placement or location in space and time (e.g., various objects or persons might be found at one place at one time and at a different place at another time). Thus, Piaget argued, if human intelligence is to be adaptive, it must have functions to represent both the transformational and the static aspects of reality.[7] He proposed that operative intelligence is responsible for the representation and manipulation of the dynamic or transformational aspects of reality, and that figurative intelligence is responsible for the representation of the static aspects of reality.[8]

Operative intelligence is the active aspect of intelligence. It involves all actions, overt or covert, undertaken in order to follow, recover, or anticipate the transformations of the objects or persons of interest.[9] Figurative intelligence is the more or less static aspect of intelligence, involving all means of representation used to retain in mind the states (i.e., successive forms, shapes, or locations) that intervene between transformations. That is, it involves perceptionimitationmental imagery, drawing, and language.[10] Therefore, the figurative aspects of intelligence derive their meaning from the operative aspects of intelligence, because states cannot exist independently of the transformations that interconnect them. Piaget stated that the figurative or the representational aspects of intelligence are subservient to its operative and dynamic aspects, and therefore, that understanding essentially derives from the operative aspect of intelligence.[9]

At any time, operative intelligence frames how the world is understood and it changes if understanding is not successful. Piaget stated that this process of understanding and change involves two basic functions: assimilation and accommodation.[10][11][12][13]

Assimilation and accommodation

Through his study of the field of education, Piaget focused on two processes, which he named assimilation and accommodation. To Piaget, assimilation meant integrating external elements into structures of lives or environments, or those we could have through experience. Assimilation is how humans perceive and adapt to new information. It is the process of fitting new information into pre-existing cognitive schemas.[14] Assimilation in which new experiences are reinterpreted to fit into, or assimilate with, old ideas.[15] It occurs when humans are faced with new or unfamiliar information and refer to previously learned information in order to make sense of it. In contrast, accommodation is the process of taking new information in one’s environment and altering pre-existing schemas in order to fit in the new information. This happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation.[16] Accommodation is imperative because it is how people will continue to interpret new concepts, schemas, frameworks, and more.[17] Piaget believed that the human brain has been programmed through evolution to bring equilibrium, which is what he believed ultimately influences structures by the internal and external processes through assimilation and accommodation.[14]

Piaget’s understanding was that assimilation and accommodation cannot exist without the other.[18] They are two sides of a coin. To assimilate an object into an existing mental schema, one first needs to take into account or accommodate to the particularities of this object to a certain extent. For instance, to recognize (assimilate) an apple as an apple, one must first focus (accommodate) on the contour of this object. To do this, one needs to roughly recognize the size of the object. Development increases the balance, or equilibration, between these two functions. When in balance with each other, assimilation and accommodation generate mental schemas of the operative intelligence. When one function dominates over the other, they generate representations which belong to figurative intelligence.[19]

Sensorimotor stage

US Navy 100406-N-7478G-346 Operations Specialist 2nd Class Reginald Harlmon and Electronics Technician 3rd Class Maura Schulze play peek-a-boo with a child in the Children’s Ward at Hospital Likas

Cognitive development is Jean Piaget’s theory. Through a series of stages, Piaget proposed four stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotorpreoperationalconcrete operational and formal operational period.[20] The sensorimotor stage is the first of the four stages in cognitive development which “extends from birth to the acquisition of language”.[21] In this stage, infants progressively construct knowledge and understanding of the world by coordinating experiences (such as vision and hearing) with physical interactions with objects (such as grasping, sucking, and stepping).[22] Infants gain knowledge of the world from the physical actions they perform within it.[23] They progress from reflexive, instinctual action at birth to the beginning of symbolic thought toward the end of the stage.[23]

Children learn that they are separate from the environment. They can think about aspects of the environment, even though these may be outside the reach of the child’s senses. In this stage, according to Piaget, the development of object permanence is one of the most important accomplishments.[14] Object permanence is a child’s understanding that objects continue to exist even though he or she cannot see or hear them.[23] Peek-a-boo is a good test for that. By the end of the sensorimotor period, children develop a permanent sense of self and object.[24]

Piaget divided the sensorimotor stage into six sub-stages”.[24]

Sub-Stage Age Description
Simple reflexes Birth-6 weeks “Coordination of sensation and action through reflexive behaviors”.[24] Three primary reflexes are described by Piaget: sucking of objects in the mouth, following moving or interesting objects with the eyes, and closing of the hand when an object makes contact with the palm (palmar grasp). Over the first six weeks of life, these reflexes begin to become voluntary actions. For example, the palmar reflex becomes intentional grasping.[25]
First habits and primary circular reactions phase 6 weeks-4 months “Coordination of sensation and two types of schema: habits (reflex) and primary circular reactions (reproduction of an event that initially occurred by chance). The main focus is still on the infant’s body”.[24] As an example of this type of reaction, an infant might repeat the motion of passing their hand before their face. Also at this phase, passive reactions, caused by classical or operant conditioning, can begin.[25]
Secondary circular reactions phase 4–8 months Development of habits. “Infants become more object-oriented, moving beyond self-preoccupation; repeat actions that bring interesting or pleasurable results”.[24] This stage is associated primarily with the development of coordination between vision and prehension. Three new abilities occur at this stage: intentional grasping for a desired object, secondary circular reactions, and differentiations between ends and means. At this stage, infants will intentionally grasp the air in the direction of a desired object, often to the amusement of friends and family. Secondary circular reactions, or the repetition of an action involving an external object begin; for example, moving a switch to turn on a light repeatedly. The differentiation between means and ends also occurs. This is perhaps one of the most important stages of a child’s growth as it signifies the dawn of logic.[25]
Coordination of secondary circular reactions stages 8–12 months “Coordination of vision and touch—hand-eye coordination; coordination of schemas and intentionality“.[24] This stage is associated primarily with the development of logic and the coordination between means and ends. This is an extremely important stage of development, holding what Piaget calls the “first proper intelligence“. Also, this stage marks the beginning of goal orientation, the deliberate planning of steps to meet an objective.[25]
Tertiary circular reactions, novelty, and curiosity 12–18 months “Infants become intrigued by the many properties of objects and by the many things they can make happen to objects; they experiment with new behavior”.[24] This stage is associated primarily with the discovery of new means to meet goals. Piaget describes the child at this juncture as the “young scientist,” conducting pseudo-experiments to discover new methods of meeting challenges.[25]
Internalization of schemas 18–24 months “Infants develop the ability to use primitive symbols and form enduring mental representations”.[24] This stage is associated primarily with the beginnings of insight, or true creativity. This marks the passage into the preoperational stage.

Pre-operational stage

Piaget’s second stage, the pre-operational stage, starts when the child begins to learn to speak at age two and lasts up until the age of seven. During the Pre-operational Stage of cognitive development, Piaget noted that children do not yet understand concrete logic and cannot mentally manipulate information.[26] Children’s increase in playing and pretending takes place in this stage. However, the child still has trouble seeing things from different points of view. The children’s play is mainly categorized by symbolic play and manipulating symbols. Such play is demonstrated by the idea of checkers being snacks, pieces of paper being plates, and a box being a table. Their observations of symbols exemplifies the idea of play with the absence of the actual objects involved. By observing sequences of play, Piaget was able to demonstrate that, towards the end of the second year, a qualitatively new kind of psychological functioning occurs, known as the Pre-operational Stage.[27][28]

The pre-operational stage is sparse and logically inadequate in regard to mental operations. The child is able to form stable concepts as well as magical beliefs. The child, however, is still not able to perform operations, which are tasks that the child can do mentally, rather than physically. Thinking in this stage is still egocentric, meaning the child has difficulty seeing the viewpoint of others. The Pre-operational Stage is split into two substages: the symbolic function substage, and the intuitive thought substage. The symbolic function substage is when children are able to understand, represent, remember, and picture objects in their mind without having the object in front of them. The intuitive thought substage is when children tend to propose the questions of “why?” and “how come?” This stage is when children want to understand everything.[28]

Symbolic function substage

At about two to four years of age, children cannot yet manipulate and transform information in a logical way. However, they now can think in images and symbols. Other examples of mental abilities are language and pretend play. Symbolic play is when children develop imaginary friends or role-play with friends. Children’s play becomes more social and they assign roles to each other. Some examples of symbolic play include playing house, or having a tea party. Interestingly, the type of symbolic play in which children engage is connected with their level of creativity and ability to connect with others.[29] Additionally, the quality of their symbolic play can have consequences on their later development. For example, young children whose symbolic play is of a violent nature tend to exhibit less prosocial behavior and are more likely to display antisocial tendencies in later years.[30]

In this stage, there are still limitations, such as egocentrism and precausal thinking.


Egocentrism occurs when a child is unable to distinguish between their own perspective and that of another person. Children tend to stick to their own viewpoint, rather than consider the view of others. Indeed, they are not even aware that such a concept as “different viewpoints” exists.[31] Egocentrism can be seen in an experiment performed by Piaget and Swiss developmental psychologist Bärbel Inhelder, known as the three mountain problem. In this experiment, three views of a mountain are shown to the child, who is asked what a traveling doll would see at the various angles. The child will consistently describe what they can see from the position from which they are seated, regardless of the angle from which they are asked to take the doll’s perspective. Egocentrism would also cause a child to believe, “I like Sesame Street, so Daddy must like Sesame Street, too”.

Similar to preoperational children’s egocentric thinking is their structuring of a cause and effect relationships. Piaget coined the term “precausal thinking” to describe the way in which preoperational children use their own existing ideas or views, like in egocentrism, to explain cause-and-effect relationships. Three main concepts of causality as displayed by children in the preoperational stage include: animism, artificialism and transductive reasoning.[32]

Animism is the belief that inanimate objects are capable of actions and have lifelike qualities. An example could be a child believing that the sidewalk was mad and made them fall down, or that the stars twinkle in the sky because they are happy. Artificialism refers to the belief that environmental characteristics can be attributed to human actions or interventions. For example, a child might say that it is windy outside because someone is blowing very hard, or the clouds are white because someone painted them that color. Finally, precausal thinking is categorized by transductive reasoning. Transductive reasoning is when a child fails to understand the true relationships between cause and effect.[28][33] Unlike deductive or inductive reasoning (general to specific, or specific to general), transductive reasoning refers to when a child reasons from specific to specific, drawing a relationship between two separate events that are otherwise unrelated. For example, if a child hears the dog bark and then a balloon popped, the child would conclude that because the dog barked, the balloon popped.

Intuitive thought substage

At between about the ages of 4 and 7, children tend to become very curious and ask many questions, beginning the use of primitive reasoning. There is an emergence in the interest of reasoning and wanting to know why things are the way they are. Piaget called it the “intuitive substage” because children realize they have a vast amount of knowledge, but they are unaware of how they acquired it. Centrationconservationirreversibility, class inclusion, and transitive inference are all characteristics of preoperative thought. Centration is the act of focusing all attention on one characteristic or dimension of a situation, whilst disregarding all others. Conservation is the awareness that altering a substance’s appearance does not change its basic properties. Children at this stage are unaware of conservation and exhibit centration. Both centration and conservation can be more easily understood once familiarized with Piaget’s most famous experimental task.

In this task, a child is presented with two identical beakers containing the same amount of liquid. The child usually notes that the beakers do contain the same amount of liquid. When one of the beakers is poured into a taller and thinner container, children who are younger than seven or eight years old typically say that the two beakers no longer contain the same amount of liquid, and that the taller container holds the larger quantity (centration), without taking into consideration the fact that both beakers were previously noted to contain the same amount of liquid. Due to superficial changes, the child was unable to comprehend that the properties of the substances continued to remain the same (conservation).

Irreversibility is a concept developed in this stage which is closely related to the ideas of centration and conservation. Irreversibility refers to when children are unable to mentally reverse a sequence of events. In the same beaker situation, the child does not realize that, if the sequence of events was reversed and the water from the tall beaker was poured back into its original beaker, then the same amount of water would exist. Another example of children’s reliance on visual representations is their misunderstanding of “less than” or “more than”. When two rows containing equal amounts of blocks are placed in front of a child, one row spread farther apart than the other, the child will think that the row spread farther contains more blocks.[28][34]

Class inclusion refers to a kind of conceptual thinking that children in the preoperational stage cannot yet grasp. Children’s inability to focus on two aspects of a situation at once inhibits them from understanding the principle that one category or class can contain several different subcategories or classes.[32] For example, a four-year-old girl may be shown a picture of eight dogs and three cats. The girl knows what cats and dogs are, and she is aware that they are both animals. However, when asked, “Are there more dogs or animals?” she is likely to answer “more dogs”. This is due to her difficulty focusing on the two subclasses and the larger class all at the same time. She may have been able to view the dogs as dogs or animals, but struggled when trying to classify them as both, simultaneously.[35][36] Similar to this is concept relating to intuitive thought, known as “transitive inference”.

Transitive inference is using previous knowledge to determine the missing piece, using basic logic. Children in the preoperational stage lack this logic. An example of transitive inference would be when a child is presented with the information “A” is greater than “B” and “B” is greater than “C”. This child may have difficulty here understanding that “A” is also greater than “C”.


The concrete operational stage is the third stage of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. This stage, which follows the preoperational stage, occurs between the ages of 7 and 11 (preadolescence) years,[37] and is characterized by the appropriate use of logic. During this stage, a child’s thought processes become more mature and “adult like”. They start solving problems in a more logical fashion. Abstract, hypothetical thinking is not yet developed in the child, and children can only solve problems that apply to concrete events or objects. At this stage, the children undergo a transition where the child learns rules such as conservation.[38] Piaget determined that children are able to incorporate Inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning involves drawing inferences from observations in order to make a generalization. In contrast, children struggle with deductive reasoning, which involves using a generalized principle in order to try to predict the outcome of an event. Children in this stage commonly experience difficulties with figuring out logic in their heads. For example, a child will understand that “A is more than B” and “B is more than C”. However, when asked “is A more than C?”, the child might not be able to logically figure the question out in his or her head.

Two other important processes in the concrete operational stage are logic and the elimination of egocentrism.

Egocentrism is the inability to consider or understand a perspective other than one’s own. It is the phase where the thought and morality of the child is completely self focused.[39] During this stage, the child acquires the ability to view things from another individual’s perspective, even if they think that perspective is incorrect. For instance, show a child a comic in which Jane puts a doll under a box, leaves the room, and then Melissa moves the doll to a drawer, and Jane comes back. A child in the concrete operations stage will say that Jane will still think it’s under the box even though the child knows it is in the drawer. (See also False-belief task.)

Children in this stage can, however, only solve problems that apply to actual (concrete) objects or events, and not abstract concepts or hypothetical tasks. Understanding and knowing how to use full common sense has not yet been completely adapted.

Piaget determined that children in the concrete operational stage were able to incorporate inductive logic. On the other hand, children at this age have difficulty using deductive logic, which involves using a general principle to predict the outcome of a specific event. This includes mental reversibility. An example of this is being able to reverse the order of relationships between mental categories. For example, a child might be able to recognize that his or her dog is a Labrador, that a Labrador is a dog, and that a dog is an animal, and draw conclusions from the information available, as well as apply all these processes to hypothetical situations.[40]

The abstract quality of the adolescent’s thought at the formal operational level is evident in the adolescent’s verbal problem solving ability.[40] The logical quality of the adolescent’s thought is when children are more likely to solve problems in a trial-and-error fashion.[40] Adolescents begin to think more as a scientist thinks, devising plans to solve problems and systematically test opinions.[40] They use hypothetical-deductive reasoning, which means that they develop hypotheses or best guesses, and systematically deduce, or conclude, which is the best path to follow in solving the problem.[40] During this stage the adolescent is able to understand love, logical proofs and values. During this stage the young person begins to entertain possibilities for the future and is fascinated with what they can be.[40]

Adolescents also are changing cognitively by the way that they think about social matters.[40] Adolescent egocentrism governs the way that adolescents think about social matters, and is the heightened self-consciousness in them as they are, which is reflected in their sense of personal uniqueness and invincibility.[40] Adolescent egocentrism can be dissected into two types of social thinking, imaginary audience that involves attention-getting behavior, and personal fable, which involves an adolescent’s sense of personal uniqueness and invincibility.[40] These two types of social thinking begin to affect a child’s egocentrism in the concrete stage. However, it carries over to the formal operational stage when they are then faced with abstract thought and fully logical thinking.

Testing for concrete operations

Piagetian tests are well known and practiced to test for concrete operations. The most prevalent tests are those for conservation. There are some important aspects that the experimenter must take into account when performing experiments with these children.

One example of an experiment for testing conservation is an experimenter will have two glasses that are the same size, fill them to the same level with liquid, which the child will acknowledge is the same. Then, the experimenter will pour the liquid from one of the small glasses into a tall, thin glass. The experimenter will then ask the child if the taller glass has more liquid, less liquid, or the same amount of liquid. The child will then give his answer. The experimenter will ask the child why he gave his answer, or why he thinks that is.

  • Justification: After the child has answered the question being posed, the experimenter must ask why the child gave that answer. This is important because the answers they give can help the experimenter to assess the child’s developmental age.[41]
  • Number of times asking: Some argue that if a child is asked if the amount of liquid in the first set of glasses is equal then, after pouring the water into the taller glass, the experimenter asks again about the amount of liquid, the children will start to doubt their original answer. They may start to think that the original levels were not equal, which will influence their second answer.[42]
  • Word choice: The phrasing that the experimenter uses may affect how the child answers. If, in the liquid and glass example, the experimenter asks, “Which of these glasses has more liquid?”, the child may think that his thoughts of them being the same is wrong because the adult is saying that one must have more. Alternatively, if the experimenter asks, “Are these equal?”, then the child is more likely to say that they are, because the experimenter is implying that they are.

Piagetian operations

Formal operational stage

The final stage is known as the formal operational stage (adolescence and into adulthood, roughly ages 11 to approximately 15–20): Intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts. This form of thought includes “assumptions that have no necessary relation to reality.”[43] At this point, the person is capable of hypothetical and deductive reasoning. During this time, people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts.

Piaget stated that “hypothetico-deductive reasoning” becomes important during the formal operational stage. This type of thinking involves hypothetical “what-if” situations that are not always rooted in reality, i.e. counterfactual thinking. It is often required in science and mathematics.

  • Abstract thought emerges during the formal operational stage. Children tend to think very concretely and specifically in earlier stages, and begin to consider possible outcomes and consequences of actions.
  • Metacognition, the capacity for “thinking about thinking” that allows adolescents and adults to reason about their thought processes and monitor them.[44]
  • Problem-solving is demonstrated when children use trial-and-error to solve problems. The ability to systematically solve a problem in a logical and methodical way emerges.

While children in primary school years mostly used inductive reasoning, drawing general conclusions from personal experiences and specific facts, adolescents become capable of deductive reasoning, in which they draw specific conclusions from abstract concepts using logic. This capability results from their capacity to think hypothetically.[45]

“However, research has shown that not all persons in all cultures reach formal operations, and most people do not use formal operations in all aspects of their lives”.[46]


Piaget and his colleagues conducted several experiments to assess formal operational thought.[47]

In one of the experiments, Piaget evaluated the cognitive capabilities of children of different ages through the use of a scale and varying weights. The task was to balance the scale by hooking weights on the ends of the scale. To successfully complete the task, the children must use formal operational thought to realize that the distance of the weights from the center and the heaviness of the weights both affected the balance. A heavier weight has to be placed closer to the center of the scale, and a lighter weight has to be placed farther from the center, so that the two weights balance each other.[45] While 3- to 5- year olds could not at all comprehend the concept of balancing, children by the age of 7 could balance the scale by placing the same weights on both ends, but they failed to realize the importance of the location. By age 10, children could think about location but failed to use logic and instead used trial-and-error. Finally, by age 13 and 14, in early adolescence, some children more clearly understood the relationship between weight and distance and could successfully implement their hypothesis.[48]

The stages and causation[edit]

Piaget sees children’s conception of causation as a march from “primitive” conceptions of cause to those of a more scientific, rigorous, and mechanical nature. These primitive concepts are characterized as supernatural, with a decidedly non-natural or non-mechanical tone. Piaget has as his most basic assumption that babies are phenomenists. That is, their knowledge “consists of assimilating things to schemas” from their own action such that they appear, from the child’s point of view, “to have qualities which, in fact, stem from the organism”. Consequently, these “subjective conceptions,” so prevalent during Piaget’s first stage of development, are dashed upon discovering deeper empirical truths.

Piaget gives the example of a child believing that the moon and stars follow him on a night walk. Upon learning that such is the case for his friends, he must separate his self from the object, resulting in a theory that the moon is immobile, or moves independently of other agents.

The second stage, from around three to eight years of age, is characterized by a mix of this type of magical, animistic, or “non-natural” conceptions of causation and mechanical or “naturalistic” causation. This conjunction of natural and non-natural causal explanations supposedly stems from experience itself, though Piaget does not make much of an attempt to describe the nature of the differences in conception. In his interviews with children, he asked questions specifically about natural phenomena, such as: “What makes clouds move?”, “What makes the stars move?”, “Why do rivers flow?” The nature of all the answers given, Piaget says, are such that these objects must perform their actions to “fulfill their obligations towards men”. He calls this “moral explanation”.[49]

Practical applications[edit]

Parents can use Piaget’s theory when deciding how to determine what to buy in order to support their child’s growth.[50] Teachers can also use Piaget’s theory, for instance, when discussing whether the syllabus subjects are suitable for the level of students or not.[51]For example, recent studies have shown that children in the same grade and of the same age perform differentially on tasks measuring basic addition and subtraction fluency. While children in the preoperational and concrete operational levels of cognitive development perform combined arithmetic operations (such as addition and subtraction) with similar accuracy,[52] children in the concrete operational level of cognitive development have been able to perform both addition problems and subtraction problems with overall greater fluency.[53]

The stage of cognitive growth of a person differ from another. It affects and influences how someone thinks about everything including flowers. A 7-month old infant, in the sensorimotor age, flowers are recognized by smelling, pulling and biting. A slightly older child has not realized that a flower is not fragrant, but similar to many children at her age, her egocentric, two handed curiosity will teach her. In the formal operational stage of an adult, flowers are part of larger, logical scheme. They are used either to earn money or to create beauty. Cognitive development or thinking is an active process from the beginning to the end of life. Intellectual advancement happens because people at every age and developmental period looks for cognitive equilibrium. To achieve this balance, the easiest way is to understand the new experiences through the lens of the preexisting ideas. Infants learn that new objects can be grabbed in the same way of familiar objects, and adults explain the day’s headlines as evidence for their existing worldview.[54]

However, the application of standardized Piagetian theory and procedures in different societies established widely varying results that lead some to speculate not only that some cultures produce more cognitive development than others but that without specific kinds of cultural experience, but also formal schooling, development might cease at certain level, such as concrete operational level. A procedure was done following methods developed in Geneva. Participants were presented with two beakers of equal circumference and height, filled with equal amounts of water. The water from one beaker was transferred into another with taller and smaller circumference. The children and young adults from non-literate societies of a given age were more likely to think that the taller, thinner beaker had more water in it. On the other hand, an experiment on the effects of modifying testing procedures to match local cultural produced a different pattern of results.[55]

Postulated physical mechanisms underlying schemas and stages[edit]

In 1967, Piaget considered the possibility of RNA molecules as likely embodiments of his still-abstract schemas (which he promoted as units of action)—though he did not come to any firm conclusion.[56] At that time, due to work such as that of Swedish biochemist Holger Hydén, RNA concentrations had, indeed, been shown to correlate with learning, so the idea was quite plausible.

However, by the time of Piaget’s death in 1980, this notion had lost favor. One main problem was over the protein which, it was assumed, such RNA would necessarily produce, and that did not fit in with observation. It was determined that only about 3% of RNA does code for protein.[57] Hence, most of the remaining 97% (the “ncRNA“) could theoretically be available to serve as Piagetian schemas (or other regulatory roles in the 2000s under investigation). The issue has not yet been resolved experimentally, but its theoretical aspects were reviewed in 2008[57] — then developed further from the viewpoints of biophysics and epistemology.[58][59] Meanwhile, this RNA-based approach also unexpectedly offered explanations for other several biological issues unresolved, thus providing some measure of corroboration.[citation needed]

Relation to psychometric theories of intelligence[edit]

Piaget designed a number of tasks to verify hypotheses arising from his theory. The tasks were not intended to measure individual differences, and they have no equivalent in psychometric intelligence tests. Notwithstanding the different research traditions in which psychometric tests and Piagetian tasks were developed, the correlations between the two types of measures have been found to be consistently positive and generally moderate in magnitude. A common general factor underlies them. It has been shown that it is possible to construct a battery consisting of Piagetian tasks that is as good a measure of general intelligence as standard IQ tests.[60][61][62]

Challenges to Piagetian stage theory[edit]

Piagetian accounts of development have been challenged on several grounds. First, as Piaget himself noted, development does not always progress in the smooth manner his theory seems to predict. Décalage, or progressive forms of cognitive developmental progression in a specific domain, suggest that the stage model is, at best, a useful approximation.[63] Furthermore, studies have found that children may be able to learn concepts and capability of complex reasoning that supposedly represented in more advanced stages with relative ease (Lourenço & Machado, 1996, p. 145).[64][65] More broadly, Piaget’s theory is “domain general,” predicting that cognitive maturation occurs concurrently across different domains of knowledge (such as mathematics, logic, and understanding of physics or language).[63] Piaget did not take into account variability in a child’s performance notably how a child can differ in sophistication across several domains.

During the 1980s and 1990s, cognitive developmentalists were influenced by “neo-nativist” and evolutionary psychology ideas. These ideas de-emphasized domain general theories and emphasized domain specificity or modularity of mind.[66] Modularity implies that different cognitive faculties may be largely independent of one another, and thus develop according to quite different timetables, which are “influenced by real world experiences”.[66] In this vein, some cognitive developmentalists argued that, rather than being domain general learners, children come equipped with domain specific theories, sometimes referred to as “core knowledge,” which allows them to break into learning within that domain. For example, even young infants appear to be sensitive to some predictable regularities in the movement and interactions of objects (for example, an object cannot pass through another object), or in human behavior (for example, a hand repeatedly reaching for an object has that object, not just a particular path of motion), as it becomes the building block of which more elaborate knowledge is constructed.

Piaget’s theory has been said to undervalue the influence that culture has on cognitive development. Piaget demonstrates that a child goes through several stages of cognitive development and come to conclusions on their own but in reality, a child’s sociocultural environment plays an important part in their cognitive development. Social interaction teaches the child about the world and helps them develop through the cognitive stages, which Piaget neglected to consider.[67][68]

More recent work has strongly challenged some of the basic presumptions of the “core knowledge” school, and revised ideas of domain generality—but from a newer dynamic systems approach, not from a revised Piagetian perspective. Dynamic systems approaches harken to modern neuroscientific research that was not available to Piaget when he was constructing his theory. One important finding is that domain-specific knowledge is constructed as children develop and integrate knowledge. This enables the domain to improve the accuracy of the knowledge as well as organization of memories.[66] However, this suggests more of a “smooth integration” of learning and development than either Piaget, or his neo-nativist critics, had envisioned. Additionally, some psychologists, such as Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner, thought differently from Piaget, suggesting that language was more important for cognition development than Piaget implied.[66][69]

Post-Piagetian and neo-Piagetian stages[edit]

In recent years, several theorists attempted to address concerns with Piaget’s theory by developing new theories and models that can accommodate evidence which violates Piagetian predictions and postulates.

  • The neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development, advanced by Robbie Case, Andreas Demetriou, Graeme S. Halford, Kurt W. FischerMichael Lamport Commons, and Juan Pascual-Leone, attempted to integrate Piaget’s theory with cognitive and differential theories of cognitive organization and development. Their aim was to better account for the cognitive factors of development and for intra-individual and inter-individual differences in cognitive development. They suggested that development along Piaget’s stages is due to increasing working memory capacity and processing efficiency by “biological maturation”.[70] Moreover, Demetriou´s theory ascribes an important role to hypercognitive processes of “self-monitoring, self-recording, self-evaluation, and self-regulation”, and it recognizes the operation of several relatively autonomous domains of thought (Demetriou, 1998; Demetriou, Mouyi, Spanoudis, 2010; Demetriou, 2003, p. 153).[71]
  • Piaget’s theory stops at the formal operational stage, but other researchers have observed the thinking of adults is more nuanced than formal operational thought. This fifth stage has been named post formal thought or operation.[72][73] Post formal stages have been proposed. Michael Commons presented evidence for four post formal stages in the model of hierarchical complexity: systematic, meta-systematic, paradigmatic, and cross-paradigmatic (Commons & Richards, 2003, p. 206–208; Oliver, 2004, p. 31).[74][75][76]There are many theorists, however, who have criticized “post formal thinking,” because the concept lacks both theoretical and empirical verification. The term “integrative thinking” has been suggested for use instead.[77][78][79][80][81]

Kohlberg’s Model of Moral Development

  • A “sentential” stage, said to occur before the early preoperational stage, has been proposed by Fischer, Biggs and Biggs, Commons, and Richards.[82][83]
  • Searching for a micro-physiological basis for human mental capacity, Robert R. Traill (1978, Section C5.4; 1999, Section 8.4) proposed that there may be “pre-sensorimotor” stages (“M−1L”, “M−2L”, …), which are developed in the womb and/or transmitted genetically.[84][85]
  • Jerome Bruner has expressed views on cognitive development in a “pragmatic orientation” in which humans actively use knowledge for practical applications, such as problem solving and understanding reality.[86]
  • Michael Lamport Commons proposed the model of hierarchical complexity (MHC) in two dimensions: horizontal complexity and vertical complexity (Commons & Richards, 2003, p. 205).[75][87][88]
  • Kieran Egan has proposed five stages of understanding: “somatic”, “mythic”, “romantic”, “philosophic”, and “ironic”, which is developed through cognitive tools such as “stories”, “binary oppositions”, “fantasy” and “rhyme, rhythm, and meter” to enhance memorization to develop a long-lasting learning capacity.[89]
  • Lawrence Kohlberg developed three stages of moral development: “Preconventional“, “Conventional” and “Postconventional”.[89][90] Each level is composed of two orientation stages, with a total of six orientation stages: (1) “Punishment-Obedience”, (2) “Instrumental Relativist”, (3) “Good Boy-Nice Girl”, (4) “Law and Order”, (5) “Social Contract”, and (6) “Universal Ethical Principle“.[89][90]
  • Andreas Demetriou has expressed neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development.
  • Jane Loevinger’s stages of ego development occur through “an evolution of stages”.[91] “First is the Presocial Stage followed by the Symbiotic Stage, Impulsive Stage, Self-Protective Stage, Conformist Stage, Self-Aware Level: Transition from Conformist to Conscientious Stage, Individualistic Level: Transition from Conscientious to the Autonomous Stage, Conformist Stage, and Integrated Stage”.[91]
  • Ken Wilber has incorporated Piaget’s theory in his multidisciplinary field of integral theory. The human consciousness is structured in hierarchical order and organized in “holon” chains or “great chain of being“, which are based on the level of spiritual and psychological development.[92]

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

  • The process of initiation is a modification of Piaget’s theory integrating Abraham Maslow‘s concept of self-actualization.[93]
  • Cheryl Armon has proposed five stages of ” the Good Life”: “Egoistic Hedonism”, “Instrumental Hedonism”, “Affective/Altruistic Mutuality”, “Individuality”, and “Autonomy/Community” (Andreoletti & Demick, 2003, p. 284) (Armon, 1984, p. 40–43).[94][95]
  • Christopher R. Hallpike proposed that human evolution of cognitive moral understanding had evolved from the beginning of time from its primitive state to the present time.[96][97]
  • Robert Kegan extended Piaget’s developmental model to adults in describing what he called constructive-developmental psychology.[98] 




Jean Piaget

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jean Piaget
Jean Piaget in Ann Arbor.png

Piaget at the University of Michigan, c. 1968
Born Jean William Fritz Piaget
9 August 1896
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died 16 September 1980 (aged 84)
Geneva, Switzerland
Alma mater University of Neuchâtel
Known for Constructivismgenetic epistemologytheory of cognitive developmentobject permanenceegocentrism
Scientific career
Fields Developmental psychologyepistemology
Influences Immanuel KantHenri Bergson,[1]Pierre JanetAlfred BinetThéodore SimonJames Mark Baldwin[2]
Influenced Bärbel Inhelder,[3] Jerome Bruner,[4] Kenneth Kaye,[citation needed] Lawrence Kohlberg,[5] Robert Kegan,[6]Howard Gardner,[7] Thomas Kuhn,[8] Seymour Papert,[9] Lev Vygotsky[10][11]

Jean Piaget (French: [ʒɑ̃ pjaʒɛ]; 9 August 1896 – 16 September 1980) was a Swiss clinical psychologist known for his pioneering work in child development. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called “genetic epistemology“.

Piaget placed great importance on the education of children. As the Director of the International Bureau of Education, he declared in 1934 that “only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual.”[12] His theory of child development is studied in pre-service education programs. Educators continue to incorporate constructivist-based strategies.

Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 while on the faculty of the University of Geneva and directed the Center until his death in 1980.[13] The number of collaborations that its founding made possible, and their impact, ultimately led to the Center being referred to in the scholarly literature as “Piaget’s factory”.[14]

According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, Jean Piaget was “the great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing.”[15] However, his ideas did not become widely popularized until the 1960s.[16] This then led to the emergence of the study of development as a major sub-discipline in psychology.[17] By the end of the 20th century, Piaget was second only to B. F. Skinner as the most cited psychologist of that era.[18]



Personal life

Piaget was born in 1896 in Neuchâtel, in the Francophone region of Switzerland. He was the oldest son of Arthur Piaget (Swiss), a professor of medieval literature at the University of Neuchâtel, and Rebecca Jackson (French). Piaget was a precocious child who developed an interest in biology and the natural world. His early interest in zoology earned him a reputation among those in the field after he had published several articles on mollusks by the age of 15.[19]

He was educated at the University of Neuchâtel, and studied briefly at the University of Zürich. During this time, he published two philosophical papers that showed the direction of his thinking at the time, but which he later dismissed as adolescent thought.[20] His interest in psychoanalysis, at the time a burgeoning strain of psychology, can also be dated to this period. Piaget moved from Switzerland to Paris, France after his graduation and he taught at the Grange-Aux-Belles Street School for Boys. The school was run by Alfred Binet, the developer of the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales, and Piaget assisted in the marking of Binet’s intelligence tests. It was while he was helping to mark some of these tests that Piaget noticed that young children consistently gave wrong answers to certain questions. Piaget did not focus so much on the fact of the children’s answers being wrong, but that young children consistently made types of mistakes that older children and adults did not. This led him to the theory that young children’s cognitive processes are inherently different from those of adults. Ultimately, he was to propose a global theory of cognitive developmental stages in which individuals exhibit certain common patterns of cognition in each period of development. In 1921, Piaget returned to Switzerland as director of the Rousseau Institute in Geneva. At this time, the institute was directed by Édouard Claparède.[21] Piaget was familiar with many of Claparède’s ideas including that of the psychological concept ‘groping’ which was closely associated with “trials and errors” observed in human mental patterns.[22]

In 1923, he married Valentine Châtenay; the couple had three children, whom Piaget studied from infancy. From 1925 to 1929 Piaget was professor of psychology, sociology, and the philosophy of science at the University of Neuchatel.[23] In 1929, Jean Piaget accepted the post of Director of the International Bureau of Education and remained the head of this international organization until 1968. Every year, he drafted his “Director’s Speeches” for the IBE Council and for the International Conference on Public Education in which he explicitly addressed his educational credo.

Having taught at the University of Geneva and at the University of Paris, in 1964, Piaget was invited to serve as chief consultant at two conferences at Cornell University (March 11–13) and University of California, Berkeley(March 16–18). The conferences addressed the relationship of cognitive studies and curriculum development and strived to conceive implications of recent investigations of children’s cognitive development for curricula.[24]

In 1979 he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Social and Political Sciences.

He was buried with his family in an unmarked grave in the Cimetière des Rois (Cemetery of Kings) in Geneva. This was as per his request.[25]

Career history

Bust of Jean Piaget in the Parc des BastionsGeneva

Harry Beilin described Jean Piaget’s theoretical research program[26] as consisting of four phases:

  1. the sociological model of development,
  2. the biological model of intellectual development,
  3. the elaboration of the logical model of intellectual development,
  4. the study of figurative thought.

The resulting theoretical frameworks are sufficiently different from each other that they have been characterized as representing different “Piagets.” More recently, Jeremy Burman responded to Beilin and called for the addition of a phase before his turn to psychology: “the zeroeth Piaget.”[27]

Piaget before psychology

Before Piaget became a psychologist, he trained in natural history and philosophy. He received a doctorate in 1918 from the University of Neuchatel. He then undertook post-doctoral training in Zurich (1918–1919), and Paris (1919–1921). He was hired by Théodore Simon to standardize psychometric measures for use with French children in 1919.[28]. The theorist we recognize today only emerged when he moved to Geneva, to work for Édouard Claparède as director of research at the Rousseau Institute, in 1922.

Sociological model of development

Piaget first developed as a psychologist in the 1920s. He investigated the hidden side of children’s minds. Piaget proposed that children moved from a position of egocentrism to sociocentrism. For this explanation he combined the use of psychological and clinical methods to create what he called a semiclinical interview. He began the interview by asking children standardized questions and depending on how they answered, he would ask them a series of nonstandard questions. Piaget was looking for what he called “spontaneous conviction” so he often asked questions the children neither expected nor anticipated. In his studies, he noticed there was a gradual progression from intuitive to scientific and socially acceptable responses. Piaget theorized children did this because of the social interaction and the challenge to younger children’s ideas by the ideas of those children who were more advanced.

This work was used by Elton Mayo as the basis for the famous Hawthorne Experiments.[29] For Piaget, it also led to an honorary doctorate from Harvard in 1936.[30]

Biological model of intellectual development

In this stage, Piaget believed that the process of thinking and the intellectual development could be regarded as an extension of the biological process of the evolutionary adaptation of the species, which has also two on-going processes: assimilation and accommodation. There is assimilation when a child responds to a new event in a way that is consistent with an existing schema.[31] There is accommodation when a child either modifies an existing schema or forms an entirely new schema to deal with a new object or event.[31]

He argued infants were engaging in an act of assimilation when they sucked on everything in their reach. He claimed infants transform all objects into an object to be sucked. The children were assimilating the objects to conform to their own mental structures. Piaget then made the assumption that whenever one transforms the world to meet individual needs or conceptions, one is, in a way, assimilating it. Piaget also observed his children not only assimilating objects to fit their needs, but also modifying some of their mental structures to meet the demands of the environment. This is the second division of adaptation known as accommodation. To start out, the infants only engaged in primarily reflex actions such as sucking, but not long after, they would pick up objects and put them in their mouths. When they do this, they modify their reflex response to accommodate the external objects into reflex actions. Because the two are often in conflict, they provide the impetus for intellectual development. The constant need to balance the two triggers intellectual growth.

To test his theory, Piaget observed the habits in his own children.

Elaboration of the logical model of intellectual development

In the model Piaget developed in stage three, he argued that intelligence develops in a series of stages that are related to age and are progressive because one stage must be accomplished before the next can occur. For each stage of development the child forms a view of reality for that age period. At the next stage, the child must keep up with earlier level of mental abilities to reconstruct concepts. Piaget conceived intellectual development as an upward expanding spiral in which children must constantly reconstruct the ideas formed at earlier levels with new, higher order concepts acquired at the next level.

It is primarily the “Third Piaget” (the logical model of intellectual development) that was debated by American psychologists when Piaget’s ideas were “rediscovered” in the 1960s.[32]

Study of figurative thought

Piaget studied areas of intelligence like perception and memory that are not entirely logical. Logical concepts are described as being completely reversible because they can always get back to the starting point. The perceptual concepts Piaget studied could not be manipulated. To describe the figurative process, Piaget uses pictures as examples. Pictures can’t be separated because contours cannot be separated from the forms they outline. Memory is the same way. It is never completely reversible. During this last period of work, Piaget and his colleague Inhelder also published books on perception, memory, and other figurative processes such as learning.[33][34][35] Because Piaget’s theory is based upon biological maturation and stages, the notion of readiness is important. Readiness concerns when certain information or concepts should be taught. According to Piaget’s theory children should not be taught certain concepts until they reached the appropriate stage of cognitive development.


Piaget defined himself as a ‘genetic’ epistemologist, interested in the process of the qualitative development of knowledge. He considered cognitive structures development as a differentiation of biological regulations. When his entire theory first became known – the theory in itself being based on a structuralist and a cognitivitist approach – it was an outstanding and exciting development in regards to the psychological community at that time.[36]

There are a total of four phases in Piaget’s research program that included books on certain topics of developmental psychology. In particular, during one period of research, he described himself studying his own three children, and carefully observing and interpreting their cognitive development.[37] In one of his last books, Equilibration of Cognitive Structures: The Central Problem of Intellectual Development, he intends to explain knowledge development as a process of equilibration using two main concepts in his theory, assimilation and accommodation, as belonging not only to biological interactions but also to cognitive ones.

Piaget believed answers for the epistemological questions at his time could be answered, or better proposed, if one looked to the genetic aspect of it, hence his experimentations with children and adolescents. As he says in the introduction of his book Genetic Epistemology: “What the genetic epistemology proposes is discovering the roots of the different varieties of knowledge, since its elementary forms, following to the next levels, including also the scientific knowledge.”


The four development stages are described in Piaget’s theory as:

1. Sensorimotor stage: from birth to age two. The children experience the world through movement and their senses. During the sensorimotor stage children are extremely egocentric, meaning they cannot perceive the world from others’ viewpoints. The sensorimotor stage is divided into six substages:[38]

I. Simple reflexes;

From birth to one month old. At this time infants use reflexes such as rooting and sucking.
II. First habits and primary circular reactions;

From one month to four months old. During this time infants learn to coordinate sensation and two types of schema (habit and circular reactions). A primary circular reaction is when the infant tries to reproduce an event that happened by accident (ex.: sucking thumb).
III. Secondary circular reactions;

From four to eight months old. At this time they become aware of things beyond their own body; they are more object-oriented. At this time they might accidentally shake a rattle and continue to do it for sake of satisfaction.
IV. Coordination of secondary circular reactions;

From eight months to twelve months old. During this stage they can do things intentionally. They can now combine and recombine schemata and try to reach a goal (ex.: use a stick to reach something). They also understand object permanence during this stage. That is, they understand that objects continue to exist even when they can’t see them.
V. Tertiary circular reactions, novelty, and curiosity;

From twelve months old to eighteen months old. During this stage infants explore new possibilities of objects; they try different things to get different results.
VI. Internalization of schemata.

Some followers of Piaget’s studies of infancy, such as Kenneth Kaye[39] argue that his contribution was as an observer of countless phenomena not previously described, but that he didn’t offer explanation of the processes in real time that cause those developments, beyond analogizing them to broad concepts about biological adaptation generally. Kaye’s “apprenticeship theory” of cognitive and social development refuted Piaget’s assumption that mind developed endogenously in infants until the capacity for symbolic reasoning allowed them to learn language.

2. Preoperational stage: Piaget’s second stage, the pre-operational stage, starts when the child begins to learn to speak at age two and lasts up until the age of seven. During the Pre-operational Stage of cognitive development, Piaget noted that children do not yet understand concrete logic and cannot mentally manipulate information. Children’s increase in playing and pretending takes place in this stage. However, the child still has trouble seeing things from different points of view. The children’s play is mainly categorized by symbolic play and manipulating symbols. Such play is demonstrated by the idea of checkers being snacks, pieces of paper being plates, and a box being a table. Their observations of symbols exemplifies the idea of play with the absence of the actual objects involved. By observing sequences of play, Piaget was able to demonstrate that, towards the end of the second year, a qualitatively new kind of psychological functioning occurs, known as the Pre-operational Stage.[40]

The pre-operational stage is sparse and logically inadequate in regard to mental operations. The child is able to form stable concepts as well as magical beliefs. The child, however, is still not able to perform operations, which are tasks that the child can do mentally, rather than physically. Thinking in this stage is still egocentric, meaning the child has difficulty seeing the viewpoint of others. The Pre-operational Stage is split into two substages: the symbolic function substage, and the intuitive thought substage. The symbolic function substage is when children are able to understand, represent, remember, and picture objects in their mind without having the object in front of them. The intuitive thought substage is when children tend to propose the questions of “why?” and “how come?” This stage is when children want the knowledge of knowing everything.[40]

The Preoperational Stage is divided into two substages:

I. Symbolic Function Substage

From two to four years of age children find themselves using symbols to represent physical models of the world around them. This is demonstrated through a child’s drawing of their family in which people are not drawn to scale or accurate physical traits are given. The child knows they are not accurate but it does not seem to be an issue to them.
II. Intuitive Thought Substage

At between about the ages of four and seven, children tend to become very curious and ask many questions, beginning the use of primitive reasoning. There is an emergence in the interest of reasoning and wanting to know why things are the way they are. Piaget called it the “intuitive substage” because children realize they have a vast amount of knowledge, but they are unaware of how they acquired it. Centration, conservation, irreversibility, class inclusion, and transitive inference are all characteristics of preoperative thought.[40]

3. Concrete operational stage: from ages seven to eleven. Children can now conserve and think logically (they understand reversibility) but are limited to what they can physically manipulate. They are no longer egocentric. During this stage, children become more aware of logic and conservation, topics previously foreign to them. Children also improve drastically with their classification skills

4. Formal operational stage: from age eleven to sixteen and onwards (development of abstract reasoning). Children develop abstract thought and can easily conserve and think logically in their mind. Abstract thought is newly present during this stage of development. Children are now able to think abstractly and utilize metacognition. Along with this, the children in the formal operational stage display more skills oriented towards problem solving, often in multiple steps.

Developmental process

Piaget provided no concise description of the development process as a whole. Broadly speaking it consisted of a cycle:

  • The child performs an action which has an effect on or organizes objects, and the child is able to note the characteristics of the action and its effects.
  • Through repeated actions, perhaps with variations or in different contexts or on different kinds of objects, the child is able to differentiate and integrate its elements and effects. This is the process of “reflecting abstraction” (described in detail in Piaget 2001).
  • At the same time, the child is able to identify the properties of objects by the way different kinds of action affect them. This is the process of “empirical abstraction”.
  • By repeating this process across a wide range of objects and actions, the child establishes a new level of knowledge and insight. This is the process of forming a new “cognitive stage”. This dual process allows the child to construct new ways of dealing with objects and new knowledge about objects themselves.
  • However, once the child has constructed these new kinds of knowledge, he or she starts to use them to create still more complex objects and to carry out still more complex actions. As a result, the child starts to recognize still more complex patterns and to construct still more complex objects. Thus a new stage begins, which will only be completed when all the child’s activity and experience have been re-organized on this still higher level.

This process may not be wholly gradual, but new evidence shows that the passage into new stages is more gradual than once thought. Once a new level of organization, knowledge and insight proves to be effective, it will quickly be generalized to other areas if they exist. As a result, transitions between stages can seem to be rapid and radical, but oftentimes the child has grasped one aspect of the new stage of cognitive functioning but not addressed others. The bulk of the time spent in a new stage consists of refining this new cognitive level however it is not always happening quickly. For example, a child may learn that two different colors of Play-Doh have been fused together to make one ball, based on the color. However, if sugar is mixed into water or iced tea, then the sugar “disappeared” and therefore does not exist. These levels of one concept of cognitive development are not realized all at once, giving us a gradual realization of the world around us.[41]

It is because this process takes this dialectical form, in which each new stage is created through the further differentiation, integration, and synthesis of new structures out of the old, that the sequence of cognitive stages are logically necessary rather than simply empirically correct. Each new stage emerges only because the child can take for granted the achievements of its predecessors, and yet there are still more sophisticated forms of knowledge and action that are capable of being developed.

Because it covers both how we gain knowledge about objects and our reflections on our own actions, Piaget’s model of development explains a number of features of human knowledge that had never previously been accounted for. For example, by showing how children progressively enrich their understanding of things by acting on and reflecting on the effects of their own previous knowledge, they are able to organize their knowledge in increasingly complex structures. Thus, once a young child can consistently and accurately recognize different kinds of animals, he or she then acquires the ability to organize the different kinds into higher groupings such as “birds”, “fish”, and so on. This is significant because they are now able to know things about a new animal simply on the basis of the fact that it is a bird – for example, that it will lay eggs.

At the same time, by reflecting on their own actions, the child develops an increasingly sophisticated awareness of the “rules” that govern in various ways. For example, it is by this route that Piaget explains this child’s growing awareness of notions such as “right”, “valid”, “necessary”, “proper”, and so on. In other words, it is through the process of objectificationreflection and abstraction that the child constructs the principles on which action is not only effective or correct but also justified.

One of Piaget’s most famous studies focused purely on the discriminative abilities of children between the ages of two and a half years old, and four and a half years old. He began the study by taking children of different ages and placing two lines of sweets, one with the sweets in a line spread further apart, and one with the same number of sweets in a line placed more closely together. He found that, “Children between 2 years, 6 months old and 3 years, 2 months old correctly discriminate the relative number of objects in two rows; between 3 years, 2 months and 4 years, 6 months they indicate a longer row with fewer objects to have “more”; after 4 years, 6 months they again discriminate correctly” (Cognitive Capacity of Very Young Children, p. 141). Initially younger children were not studied, because if at four years old a child could not conserve quantity, then a younger child presumably could not either. The results show however that children that are younger than three years and two months have quantity conservation, but as they get older they lose this quality, and do not recover it until four and a half years old. This attribute may be lost due to a temporary inability to solve because of an overdependence on perceptual strategies, which correlates more candy with a longer line of candy, or due to the inability for a four-year-old to reverse situations.

By the end of this experiment several results were found. First, younger children have a discriminative ability that shows the logical capacity for cognitive operations exists earlier than acknowledged. This study also reveals that young children can be equipped with certain qualities for cognitive operations, depending on how logical the structure of the task is. Research also shows that children develop explicit understanding at age 5 and as a result, the child will count the sweets to decide which has more. Finally the study found that overall quantity conservation is not a basic characteristic of humans’ native inheritance.

Genetic epistemology

According to Jean Piaget, genetic epistemology “attempts to explain knowledge, and in particular scientific knowledge, on the basis of its history, its sociogenesis, and especially the psychological origins of the notions and operations upon which it is based”[5]. Piaget believed he could test epistemological questions by studying the development of thought and action in children. As a result, Piaget created a field known as genetic epistemology with its own methods and problems. He defined this field as the study of child development as a means of answering epistemological questions.


A Schema is a structured cluster of concepts, it can be used to represent objects, scenarios or sequences of events or relations. The original idea was proposed by philosopher Immanuel Kant as innate structures used to help us perceive the world.[42]

A schema (pl. schemata) is the mental framework that is created as children interact with their physical and social environments.[43] For example, many 3-year-olds insist that the sun is alive because it comes up in the morning and goes down at night. According to Piaget, these children are operating based on a simple cognitive schema that things that move are alive. At any age, children rely on their current cognitive structures to understand the world around them. Moreover, younger and older children may often interpret and respond to the same objects and events in very different ways because cognitive structures take different forms at different ages.[44]

Piaget (1953) described three kinds of intellectual structures: behavioural (or sensorimotor) schemata, symbolic schemata, and operational schemata.

  • Behavioural schemata: organized patterns of behaviour that are used to represent and respond to objects and experiences.
  • Symbolic schemata: internal mental symbols (such as images or verbal codes) that one uses to represent aspects of experience.
  • Operational schemata: internal mental activity that one performs on objects of thought.[45]

According to Piaget, children use the process of assimilation and accommodation to create a schema or mental framework for how they perceive and/or interpret what they are experiencing. As a result, the early concepts of young children tend to be more global or general in nature.[46]

Similarly, Gallagher and Reid (1981) maintained that adults view children’s concepts as highly generalized and even inaccurate. With added experience, interactions, and maturity, these concepts become refined and more detailed. Overall, making sense of the world from a child’s perspective is a very complex and time-consuming process.[47]

Schemata are:

  • Critically important building block of conceptual development
  • Constantly in the process of being modified or changed
  • Modified by on-going experiences
  • A generalized idea, usually based on experience or prior knowledge.[46]

These schemata are constantly being revised and elaborated upon each time the child encounters new experiences. In doing this children create their own unique understanding of the world, interpret their own experiences and knowledge, and subsequently use this knowledge to solve more complex problems. In a neurological sense, the brain/mind is constantly working to build and rebuild itself as it takes in, adapts/modifies new information, and enhances understanding.[46]

Physical microstructure of schemata

In his Biology and Knowledge (1967+ / French 1965), Piaget tentatively hinted at possible physical embodiments for his abstract schema entities. At the time, there was much talk and research about RNA as such an agent of learning, and Piaget considered some of the evidence. However, he did not offer any firm conclusions, and confessed that this was beyond his area of expertise.

Research methods

Piaget wanted to revolutionize the way research was conducted. Although he started researching with his colleagues using a traditional method of data collection, he was not fully satisfied with the results and wanted to keep trying to find new ways of researching using a combination of data, which included naturalistic observationpsychometrics, and the psychiatric clinical examination, in order to have a less guided form of research that would produce more empirically valid results. As Piaget developed new research methods, he wrote a book called The Language and Thought of the Child, which aimed to synthesize the methods he was using in order to study the conclusion children drew from situations and how they arrived to such conclusion. The main idea was to observe how children responded and articulated certain situations with their own reasoning, in order to examine their thought processes (Mayer, 2005).

Piaget administered a test in 15 boys with ages ranging from 10 to 14 years in which he asked participants to describe the relationship between a mixed bouquet of flowers and a bouquet with flowers of the same color. The purpose of this study was to analyze the thinking process the boys had and to draw conclusions about the logic processes they had used, which was a psychometric technique of research. Piaget also used the psychoanalytic method initially developed by Sigmund Freud. The purpose of using such method was to examine the unconscious mind, as well as to continue parallel studies using different research methods. Psychoanalysis was later rejected by Piaget, as he thought it was insufficiently empirical (Mayer, 2005).

Piaget argued that children and adults used speech for different purposes. In order to confirm his argument, he experimented analyzing a child’s interpretation of a story. In the experiment, the child listened to a story and then told a friend that same story in his/her/their own words. The purpose of this study was to examine how children verbalize and understand each other without adult intervention. Piaget wanted to examine the limits of naturalistic observation, in order to understand a child’s reasoning. He realized the difficulty of studying children’s thoughts, as it is hard to know if a child is pretending to believe their thoughts or not. Piaget was the pioneer researcher to examine children’s conversations in a social context – starting from examining their speech and actions – where children were comfortable and spontaneous (Kose, 1987).

Issues and possible solutions

After conducting many studies, Piaget was able to find significant differences in the way adults and children reason; however, he was still unable to find the path of logic reasoning and the unspoken thoughts children had, which could allow him to study a child’s intellectual development over time (Mayer, 2005). In his third book, The Child’s Conception of the World, Piaget recognized the difficulties of his prior techniques and the importance of psychiatric clinical examination. The researcher believed that the way clinical examinations were conducted influenced how a child’s inner realities surfaced. Children would likely respond according to the way the research is conducted, the questions asked, or the familiarity they have with the environment. The clinical examination conducted for his third book provides a thorough investigation into a child’s thinking process. An example of a question used to research such process was: “Can you see a thought?” (Mayer, 2005, p. 372).

Development of new methods

Piaget recognized that psychometric tests had its limitations, as children were not able to provide the researcher with their deepest thoughts and inner intellect. It was also difficult to know if the results of child examination reflected what children believed or if it is just a pretend situation. For example, it is very difficult to know with certainty if a child who has a conversation with a toy believes the toy is alive or if the child is just pretending. Soon after drawing conclusions about psychometric studies, Piaget started developing the clinical method of examination. The clinical method included questioning a child and carefully examining their responses -in order to observe how the child reasoned according to the questions asked – and then examine the child’s perception of the world through their responses. Piaget recognized the difficulties of interviewing a child and the importance of recognizing the difference between “liberated” versus “spontaneous” responses (Mayer, 2005, p. 372).

Criticism of Piaget’s research methods

“The developmental theory of Jean Piaget has been criticized on the grounds that it is conceptually limited, empirically false, or philosophically and epistemologically untenable.” (Lourenço & Machado, 1996, p. 143) Piaget responded to criticism by acknowledging that the vast majority of critics did not understand the outcomes he wished to obtain from his research (Lourenço & Machado, 1996).

As Piaget believed development was a universal process, his initial sample sizes were inadequate, particularly in the formulation of his theory of infant development.[48] Piaget’s theories of infant development were based on his observations of his own three children. While this clearly presents problems with the sample size, Piaget also probably introduced confounding variables and social desirability into his observations and his conclusions based on his observations. It is entirely possible Piaget conditioned his children to respond in a desirable manner, so, rather than having an understanding of object permanence, his children might have learned to behave in a manner that indicated they understood object permanence. The sample was also very homogenous, as all three children had a similar genetic heritage and environment. Piaget did, however, have larger sample sizes during his later years.

Development of research methods

Piaget wanted to research in environments that would allow children to connect with some existing aspects of the world. The idea was to change the approach described in his book The Child’s Conception of the World and move away from the vague questioning interviews. This new approach was described in his book The Child’s Conception of Physical Causality, where children were presented with dilemmas and had to think of possible solutions on their own. Later, after carefully analyzing previous methods, Piaget developed a combination of naturalistic observation with clinical interviewing in his book Judgment and Reasoning in the Child, where a child’s intellect was tested with questions and close monitoring. Piaget was convinced he had found a way to analyze and access a child’s thoughts about the world in a very effective way. (Mayer, 2005) Piaget’s research provided a combination of theoretical and practical research methods and it has offered a crucial contribution to the field of developmental psychology (Beilin, 1992). “Piaget is often criticized because his method of investigation, though somewhat modified in recent years, is still largely clinical”. He observes a child’s surroundings and behavior. He then comes up with a hypothesis testing it and focusing on both the surroundings and behavior after changing a little of the surrounding. (Phillips, 1969)


Photo of the Jean Piaget Foundation with Pierre Bovet (1878–1965) first row (with large beard) and Jean Piaget (1896–1980) first row (on the right, with glasses) in front of the Rousseau Institute (Geneva), 1925

Despite his ceasing to be a fashionable psychologist, the magnitude of Piaget’s continuing influence can be measured by the global scale and activity of the Jean Piaget Society, which holds annual conferences and attracts around 700 participants.[49] His theory of cognitive development has proved influential in many different areas:

Developmental psychology

Piaget is the most influential developmental psychologist to date (Lourenço, O. and Machado, A., 1996), influencing not only the work of Lev Vygotsky and of Lawrence Kohlberg but whole generations of eminent academics.[clarification needed] Although subjecting his ideas to massive scrutiny led to innumerable improvements and qualifications of his original model and the emergence of a plethora of neo-Piagetian and post-Piagetian variants, Piaget’s original model has proved to be remarkably robust (Lourenço and Machado 1996).

Piaget on education

By using Piaget’s theory, educators focus on their students as learners. As a result of this focus, education is learner-center and constructivist-based to an extent. Piaget’s theory allows teachers to view students as individual learners who add new concepts to prior knowledge to construct, or build, understanding for themselves.[50] Teachers who use a learner-centered approach as a basis for their professional practices incorporate the several dispositions.[50] They provide experience-based educational opportunities. These teachers also contemplate the learners’ individual qualities and attitudes during curriculum planning. Educators allow learners’ insights to alter the curriculum. They nourish and support learners’ curiosity. They also involve learners’ emotions and create a learning environment in which students feel safe.[50]

There are two differences between the preoperational and concrete operational stages that apply to education. These differences are reversibility and decentration. At times, reversibility and decentration occur at the same time.[51] When students think about the steps to complete a task without using a particular logical, sequential order, they are using reversibility.[51] Decentration allows him to concentrate on multiple components of a problematic task at a time.[51] Students use both reversibility and decentration to function throughout the school day, follow directions, and complete assignments.

An example of a student using reversibility is when learning new vocabulary. The student creates a list of unfamiliar words from a literary text. Then, he researches the definition of those words before asking classmate to test him. His teacher has given a set of particular instructions that he must follow in a particular order: he must write the word before defining it, and complete these two steps repeatedly.[51] A child in the preoperational stage gets confused during this process and needs assistance from the teacher to stay on task. The teacher refers him back to his text in order to notate the next word before he can define it.[51] A child in the preoperational stage does not understand the organization required to complete this assignment. However, a child in the concrete operational stage understands the organization, and he can recall the steps in any order while being able to follow the order given.[51] Using decentration, the child has the two activities on his mind: identify words and find them in the dictionary.[51]

A sample of decentration is a preschooler may use a toy banana as a pretend telephone. The child knows the difference between the fruit and a phone. However, in this form of play, he is operating on two levels at once.[51] In an older child at the concrete operational level, decentration allows him to complete subtraction of two-digit numbers and indicate which of the problems also involved borrowing from the other column. The student simultaneously does both.[51] Using reversibility, the student has to move mentally between two subtasks.

Regarding the giving of praise by teachers, praise is a reinforcer for students. Adolescents undergo social-emotional development such that they seek rapport with peers. Thus, teacher praise is not as powerful for students who see teachers as authority figures. They give no value to praise provided by adults, or they have no respect for the individual who is giving praise.[52]


During the 1970s and 1980s, Piaget’s works also inspired the transformation of European and American education, including both theory and practice, leading to a more ‘child-centered’ approach. In Conversations with Jean Piaget, he says: “Education, for most people, means trying to lead the child to resemble the typical adult of his society … but for me and no one else, education means making creators… You have to make inventors, innovators—not conformists” (Bringuier, 1980, p. 132).

His theory of cognitive development can be used as a tool in the early childhood classroom. According to Piaget, children developed best in a classroom with interaction.

Piaget defined knowledge as the ability to modify, transform, and “operate on” an object or idea, such that it is understood by the operator through the process of transformation.[53] Learning, then, occurs as a result of experience, both physical and logical, with the objects themselves and how they are acted upon. Thus, knowledge must be assimilated in an active process by a learner with matured mental capacity, so that knowledge can build in complexity by scaffolded understanding. Understanding is scaffolded by the learner through the process of equilibration, whereby the learner balances new knowledge with previous understanding, thereby compensating for “transformation” of knowledge.[53]

Learning, then, can also be supported by instructors in an educational setting. Piaget specified that knowledge cannot truly be formed until the learner has matured the mental structures to which that learning is specific, and thereby development constrains learning. Nevertheless, knowledge can also be “built” by building on simpler operations and structures that have already been formed. Basing operations of an advanced structure on those of simpler structures thus scaffolds learning to build on operational abilities as they develop. Good teaching, then, is built around the operational abilities of the students such that they can excel in their operational stage and build on preexisting structures and abilities and thereby “build” learning.[53]

Evidence of the effectiveness of a contemporary curricular design building on Piaget’s theories of developmental progression and the support of maturing mental structures can be seen in Griffin and Case’s “Number Worlds” curriculum.[54] The curriculum works toward building a “central conceptual structure” of number sense in young children by building on five instructional processes, including aligning curriculum to the developmental sequencing of acquisition of specific skills. By outlining the developmental sequence of number sense, a conceptual structure is built and aligned to individual children as they develop.


Piaget believed in two basic principles relating to moral education: that children develop moral ideas in stages and that children create their conceptions of the world. According to Piaget, “the child is someone who constructs his own moral world view, who forms ideas about right and wrong, and fair and unfair, that are not the direct product of adult teaching and that are often maintained in the face of adult wishes to the contrary” (Gallagher, 1978, p. 26). Piaget believed that children made moral judgments based on their own observations of the world.

Piaget’s theory of morality was radical when his book The Moral Judgment of the Child was published in 1932 for two reasons: his use of philosophical criteria to define morality (as universalizable, generalizable, and obligatory) and his rejection of equating cultural norms with moral norms. Piaget, drawing on Kantian theory, proposed that morality developed out of peer interaction and that it was autonomous from authority mandates. Peers, not parents, were a key source of moral concepts such as equality, reciprocity, and justice.

Piaget attributed different types of psychosocial processes to different forms of social relationships, introducing a fundamental distinction between different types of said relationships. Where there is constraint because one participant holds more power than the other the relationship is asymmetrical, and, importantly, the knowledge that can be acquired by the dominated participant takes on a fixed and inflexible form. Piaget refers to this process as one of social transmission, illustrating it through reference to the way in which the elders of a tribe initiate younger members into the patterns of beliefs and practices of the group. Similarly, where adults exercise a dominating influence over the growing child, it is through social transmission that children can acquire knowledge. By contrast, in cooperative relations, power is more evenly distributed between participants so that a more symmetrical relationship emerges. Under these conditions, authentic forms of intellectual exchange become possible; each partner has the freedom to project his or her own thoughts, consider the positions of others, and defend his or her own point of view. In such circumstances, where children’s thinking is not limited by a dominant influence, Piaget believed “the reconstruction of knowledge”, or favorable conditions for the emergence of constructive solutions to problems, exists. Here the knowledge that emerges is open, flexible and regulated by the logic of argument rather than being determined by an external authority.

In short, cooperative relations provide the arena for the emergence of operations, which for Piaget requires the absence of any constraining influence, and is most often illustrated by the relations that form between peers (for more on the importance of this distinction see Duveen & Psaltis, 2008; Psaltis & Duveen, 2006, 2007). This is thus how, according to Piaget, children learn moral judgement as opposed to cultural norms (or maybe ideological norms).

Historical studies of thought and cognition

Historical changes of thought have been modeled in Piagetian terms. Broadly speaking these models have mapped changes in morality, intellectual life and cognitive levels against historical changes (typically in the complexity of social systems).

Notable examples include:

Non-human development

Neo-Piagetian stages have been applied to the maximum stage attained by various animals. For example, spiders attain the circular sensory motor stage, coordinating actions and perceptions. Pigeons attain the sensory motor stage, forming concepts.[citation needed]


The origins of human intelligence have also been studied in Piagetian terms. Wynn (1979, 1981) analysed Acheulian and Oldowan tools in terms of the insight into spatial relationships required to create each kind. On a more general level, Robinson’s Birth of Reason (2005) suggests a large-scale model for the emergence of a Piagetian intelligence.


Piaget’s models of cognition have also been applied outside the human sphere, and some primatologists assess the development and abilities of primates in terms of Piaget’s model.[61]


Philosophers have used Piaget’s work. For example, the philosopher and social theorist Jürgen Habermas has incorporated Piaget into his work, most notably in The Theory of Communicative Action. The philosopher Thomas Kuhn credited Piaget’s work with helping him to understand the transition between modes of thought which characterized his theory of paradigm shifts.[62] Yet, that said, it is also noted that the implications of his later work do indeed remain largely unexamined.[63] Shortly before his death (September 1980), Piaget was involved in a debate about the relationships between innate and acquired features of language, at the Centre Royaumont pour une Science de l’Homme, where he discussed his point of view with the linguist Noam Chomsky as well as Hilary Putnam and Stephen Toulmin.

Artificial intelligence

Piaget also had a considerable effect in the field of computer science and artificial intelligenceSeymour Papert used Piaget’s work while developing the Logo programming languageAlan Kay used Piaget’s theories as the basis for the Dynabook programming system concept, which was first discussed within the confines of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC). These discussions led to the development of the Alto prototype, which explored for the first time all the elements of the graphical user interface (GUI), and influenced the creation of user interfaces in the 1980s and beyond.[64]


Piaget’s theory, however vital in understanding child psychology, did not go without scrutiny. A main figure whose ideas contradicted Piaget’s ideas was the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky stressed the importance of a child’s cultural background as an effect to the stages of development. Because different cultures stress different social interactions, this challenged Piaget’s theory that the hierarchy of learning development had to develop in succession. Vygotsky introduced the term Zone of proximal development as an overall task a child would have to develop that would be too difficult to develop alone.

Also, the so-called neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development maintained that Piaget’s theory does not do justice either to the underlying mechanisms of information processing that explain transition from stage to stage or individual differences in cognitive development. According to these theories, changes in information processing mechanisms, such as speed of processing and working memory, are responsible for ascension from stage to stage. Moreover, differences between individuals in these processes explain why some individuals develop faster than other individuals (Demetriou, 1998).

Over time, alternative theories of Child Development have been put forward, and empirical findings have done a lot to undermine Piaget’s theories. For example, Esther Thelen and colleagues[65] found that babies would not make the A-not-B error if they had small weights added to their arms during the first phase of the experiment that were then removed before the second phase of the experiment. This minor change should not impact babies’ understanding of object permanence, so the difference that this makes to babies’ performance on the A-not-B task cannot be explained by Piagetian theory. Thelen and colleagues also found that various other factors also influenced performance on the A-not-B task (including strength of memory trace, salience of targets, waiting time and stance), and proposed that this could be better explained using a dynamic systems theory approach than using Piagetian theory. Alison Gopnik and Betty Repacholi[66] found that babies as young as 18 months old can understand that other people have desires, and that these desires could be very different from their own desires. This strongly contradicts Piaget’s view that children are very egocentric at this age. In reaction to these challenges, it has been argued that their criticisms depend on a fundamental misreading of Piaget’s theory (Lourenço & Machado, 1996).

See also Brian Rotman‘s Jean Piaget: Psychologist of the Real, an exposition and critique of Piaget’s ideas, and Jonathan Tudge and Barbara Rogoff’s “Peer influences on cognitive development: Piagetian and Vygotskian perspectives”.[67]


  • “Intelligence organizes the world by organizing itself.”[68]

List of major achievements


Honorary doctorates

  • 1936 Harvard
  • 1946 Sorbonne
  • 1949 University of Brazil
  • 1949 Bruxelles
  • 1953 Chicago
  • 1954 McGill
  • 1958 Warsaw
  • 1959 Manchester
  • 1960 Oslo
  • 1960 Cambridge
  • 1962 Brandeis
  • 1964 Montreal
  • 1964 Aix-Marseille
  • 1966 Pennsylvania[69]
  • 1966? Barcelona[70]
  • 1970 Yale[71]

List of major works

The following groupings are based on the number of citations in Google Scholar.


  • The Language and Thought of the Child (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1926) [Le Langage et la pensée chez l’enfant (1923)]
  • The Child’s Conception of the World (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1928) [La Représentation du monde chez l’enfant (1926, orig. pub. as an article, 1925)]
  • The Moral Judgment of the Child (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., 1932) [Le jugement moral chez l’enfant (1932)]
  • The Origins of Intelligence in Children (New York: International University Press, 1952) [La naissance de l’intelligence chez l’enfant (1936), also translated as The Origin of Intelligence in the Child (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1953)].
  • Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood (New York: Norton, 1962) [La formation du symbole chez l’enfant; imitation, jeu et reve, image et représentation (1945)].
  • The Psychology of Intelligence (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1951) [La psychologie de l’intelligence (1947)].
  • The construction of reality in the child (New York: Basic Books, 1954) [La construction du réel chez l’enfant (1950), also translated as The Child’s Construction of Reality (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1955)].
  • With Inhelder, B., The Growth of Logical Thinking from Childhood to Adolescence (New York: Basic Books, 1958) [De la logique de l’enfant à la logique de l’adolescent (1955)].
  • With Inhelder, B., The Psychology of the Child (New York: Basic Books, 1962) [La psychologie de l’enfant (1966, orig. pub. as an article, 1950)].

Major works

  • The early growth of logic in the child (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964) [La genèse des structures logiques elementaires (1959)].
  • With Inhelder, B., The Child’s Conception of Space (New York: W.W. Norton, 1967).
  • “Piaget’s theory” in P. Mussen (ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology, Vol. 1. (4th ed., New York: Wiley, 1983).
  • The Child’s Conception of Number (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1952) [La genèse du nombre chez l’enfant (1941)].
  • Structuralism (New York: Harper & Row, 1970) [Le Structuralisme (1968)].
  • Genetic epistemology (New York: W.W. Norton, 1971, ISBN 978-0-393-00596-7).

Significant works

  • The child’s conception of physical causality (London: Kegan Paul, 1930) [La causalite physique chez l’enfant (1927)]
  • Child’s Conception of Geometry (New York, Basic Books, 1960) [La Géométrie spontanée de l’enfant (1948)].
  • The Principles of Genetic Epistemology (New York: Basic Books, 1972, ISBN 978-0-393-00596-7) [L’épistémologie génétique (1950)].
  • To understand is to invent: The future of education (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1973) [tr. of Ou va l’education (1971) and Le droit a l’education dans le monde actuel (1948)].
  • Six psychological studies (New York: Random House, 1967) [Six études de psychologie (1964)].
  • Biology and Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971) [Biologie et connaissance; essai sur les relations entre les régulations organiques et les processus cognitifs (1967)]
  • Science of education and the psychology of the child (New York: Orion Press, 1970) [Psychologie et pédagogie (1969)].
  • Intellectual evolution from adolescence to adulthood (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977) [L’evolution intellectuelle entre l’adolescence et l’age adulte (1970)].
  • The Equilibration of Cognitive Structures: The Central Problem of Intellectual Development (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985) [L’equilibration des structures cognitives (1975), previously translated as The development of thought: Equilibration of cognitive structures (1977)].
  • Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (ed.), Language and learning: the debate between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980) [Theories du language, theories de l’apprentissage (1979)].
  • Development and learning.

Notable works

  • The Grasp of Consciousness: Action and concept in the young child (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977) [La prise de conscience (1974)].
  • The Mechanisms of Perception (New York: Basic Books, 1969) [Les mécanismes perceptifs: modèles probabilistes, analyse génétique, relations avec l’intelligence (1961)].
  • Psychology and Epistemology: Towards a Theory of Knowledge (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972) [Psychologie et epistémologie (1970).
  • The Child’s Conception of Time (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969) [Le développement de la notion de temps chez l’enfant (1946)]
  • Logic and Psychology (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1953).
  • Memory and intelligence (New York: Basic Books, 1973) [Memoire et intelligence (1968)]
  • The Origin of the Idea of Chance in Children (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975) [La genèse de l’idée de hasard chez l’enfant (1951)].
  • Mental imagery in the child: a study of the development of imaginal representation (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971) [L’image mentale chez l’enfant : études sur le développement des représentations imaginées (1966)].
  • Intelligence and Affectivity. Their Relationship during Child Development (Palo Alto: Annual Reviews, 1981) [Les relations entre l’intelligence et l’affectivité dans le développement de l’enfant (1954)].
  • With Garcia, R. Psychogenesis and the History of Science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989) [Psychogenèse et histoire des sciences (1983).
  • With Beth, E. W.,Mathematical Epistemology and Psychology (Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1966) [Épistémologie mathématique et psychologie: Essai sur les relations entre la logique formelle et la pensée réelle] (1961).

New translations

  • Piaget, J. (1995). Sociological Studies. London: Routledge.
  • Piaget, J. (2000). “Commentary on Vygotsky”. New Ideas in Psychology18: 241–59.
  • Piaget, J. (2001). Studies in Reflecting Abstraction. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.



  1. Jump up^ Susan Pass, Parallel Paths to Constructivism: Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, Information Age Publishing, 2004, p. 74.
  2. Jump up^ Piaget, J. (1982). Reflections on Baldwin [interview with J. J. Vonèche]. In J. M. Broughton & D. J. Freeman-Moir (Eds.), The cognitive developmental psychology of James Mark Baldwin(pp. 80–86). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
  3. Jump up^ Inhelder, B. (1989). Bärbel Inhelder [Autobiography] (H. Sinclair & M. Sinclair, Trans.). In G. Lindzey (Ed.), A History of Psychology in Autobiography (Vol. VIII, pp. 208–243). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Tryphon, A., & Vonèche, J. J. (Eds.). (2001). Working with Piaget: Essays in honour of Bärbel Inhelder. Hove, East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press.
  4. Jump up^ Bruner, J. S. (1983). In search of mind: Essays in autobiography. New York: Harper & Row.
  5. Jump up^ Kohlberg, L. (1982). Moral development. In J. M. Broughton & D. J. Freeman-Moir (Eds.), The cognitive developmental psychology of James Mark Baldwin: Current theory and research in genetic epistemology (pp. 277–325). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
  6. Jump up^ Kegan, Robert (1994). In Over Our Heads (p. 29). Cambridge, MA: Harvasrd University Press.
  7. Jump up^ Gardner, H. (2008). “Wrestling with Jean Piaget, my paragon. What have you changed your mind about?”Edge.org. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  8. Jump up^ Burman, J. T. (2007). “Piaget no “remedy” for Kuhn, but the two should be read together: Comment on Tsou’s “Piaget vs. Kuhn on scientific progress””. Theory & Psychology17 (5): 721–732. doi:10.1177/0959354307079306.
  9. Jump up^ Papert, S (March 29, 1999). “Child Psychologist: Jean Piaget”. Time153: 104–107.
  10. Jump up^ Piaget, J (1979). “Comments on Vygotsky’s critical remarks”. Archives de Psychologie47 (183): 237–249.
  11. Jump up^ Piaget, J (2000). “Commentary on Vygotsky’s criticisms of Language and Thought of the Child and Judgement and Reasoning in the Child (L. Smith, Trans.)”. New Ideas in Psychology18 (2–3): 241–259. doi:10.1016/s0732-118x(00)00012-x. (Original work published 1962.)
  12. Jump up^ “International Bureau of Education – Directors” search.eb.com Munari, Alberto (1994). “JEAN PIAGET (1896–1980)” (PDF). Prospects: the quarterly review of comparative educationXXIV (1/2): 311–327. doi:10.1007/bf02199023.
  13. Jump up^ “Jean Piaget Society – About Piaget”. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  14. Jump up^ Burman, J. T. (2012). “Jean Piaget: Images of a life and his factory”. History of Psychology15 (3): 283–288. ISSN 1093-4510doi:10.1037/a0025930.
  15. Jump up^ von Glasersfeld, E. (1990). “An exposition of constructivism: Why some like it radical”. Journal for Research In Mathematics Education – Monograph4: 19–29 & 195–210 [22]. ISSN 0883-9530JSTOR 749910doi:10.2307/749910. (p. 22).
  16. Jump up^ Hsueh, Y (2009). “Piaget in the United States, 1925–1971. In U. Müller, J. I. M. Carpendale & L. Smith (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Piaget (pp. 344–370). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Müller, U., Burman, J. T., & Hutchinson, S. (2013). The developmental psychology of Jean Piaget: A quinquagenary retrospective”. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology34 (1): 52–55. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2012.10.001.
  17. Jump up^ Pickren, W. E. (2012). Joseph McVicker Hunt: Golden age psychologist. In W. E. Pickren, D. A. Dewsbury, & M. Wertheimer (Eds.), Portraits of pioneers in developmental psychology (pp. 185–203). New York: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.
  18. Jump up^ Haggbloom, Steven J.; Warnick, Jason E.; Jones, Vinessa K.; Yarbrough, Gary L.; Russell, Tenea M.; Borecky, Chris M.; McGahhey, Reagan; et al. (2002). “The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century”Review of General Psychology6 (2): 139–152. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.6.2.139.
  19. Jump up^ “Jean Piaget”, Biography. Accessed 28 February 2012
  20. Jump up^ A Brief Biography of Jean Piaget, Jean Piaget Society (Society for the study of knowledge and development)
  21. Jump up^ Harvard Graduate School of Education, Susan Mayer (21 October 2005). “A Brief Biography of Jean Piaget” (PDF). gseacademic.harvard.edu.
  22. Jump up^ Voyat, G. (1981). “Jean Piaget: 1896-1980”.The American Journal of Psychology, 94(4), pp. 645–648.
  23. Jump up^ American Psychologist volume 25. (Jan 1970) pg.66
  24. Jump up^ Verne N. Rockcastle (1964, p. xi), the conference director, wrote in the conference report of the Jean Piaget conferences about Piaget: “Although few of us had any personal contact with Piaget prior to the conference, those who attended came to have the deepest and warmest regard for him both as a scientist and as a person. His sense of humor throughout the conference was a sort of international glue that flavored his lectures and punctuated his informal conversation. To sit at the table with him during a meal was not only an intellectual pleasure but a pure social delight. Piaget was completely unsophisticated in spite of his international stature. We could hardly believe it when he came prepared for two weeks’ stay with only his ‘serviette’ and a small Swissair bag. An American would have hat at least two large suitcases. When Piaget left Berkeley, he had his serviette, the small Swissair bag, and a third, larger bag crammed with botanical specimens. ‘Where did you get that bag?’ we asked. ‘I had it in one of the others,’ he replied.”
  25. Jump up^ Burman, J. T. (2013). Profiles of international archives: Les Archives Jean Piaget, University of Geneva, Switzerland. History of Psychology, 16(2), 158–161. doi: 10.1037/a0031405. A full-color photo of his grave is available online, open access, courtesy of the American Psychological Association.[1]
  26. Jump up^ Beilin, H. (1992). “Piaget’s enduring contribution to developmental psychology”. Developmental Psychology28 (2): 191–204. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.28.2.191.
  27. Jump up^ Burman, J. T. (2011). “The zeroeth Piaget”. Theory & Psychology21 (1): 130–135. doi:10.1177/0959354310361407.
  28. Jump up^ Mayer, Susan (2005). “The Early Evolution of Jean Piaget’s Clinical Method”. History of Psychology.
  29. Jump up^ Hsueh, Y. (2001). Basing much of the reasoning upon the work of Jean Piaget, 1927–1936. Archives de Psychologie, 69(268–269), 39–62; Hsueh, Y. (2002). The Hawthorne Experiments and the introduction of Jean Piaget in American Industrial Psychology, 1929–1932. History of Psychology, 5(2), 163–189. doi:10.1037/1093-4510.5.2.163
  30. Jump up^ Hsueh, Y (2004). “He sees the development of children’s concepts upon a background of sociology”: Jean Piaget’s honorary degree at Harvard University in 1936″. History of Psychology7 (1): 20–44. doi:10.1037/1093-4510.7.1.20.
  31. Jump up to:a b Ormrod, J.E. (2012). Essentials of Educational Psychology: Big Ideas to Guide Effective Teaching. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.
  32. Jump up^ Hsueh, Y. (2005). The lost and found experience: Piaget rediscovered. The Constructivist, 16(1). [2]
  33. Jump up^ Guthrie, James W. “Piaget, Jean (1896–1980).” Encyclopedia of Education. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. New York, NY: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. 1894-898.
  34. Jump up^ “Piaget, Jean.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 3 November 2008 search.eb.com
  35. Jump up^ Valsiner, J. (2005). “Participating in Piaget”. Society42 (2): 57–61. doi:10.1007/BF02687400.
  36. Jump up^ Howard Gardner, The Quest for Mind: Piaget, Levi-Strauss and the Structuralist Movement, University of Chicago Press, 1981.
  37. Jump up^ Beilin Harry (1992). “Piaget’s Enduring Contribution to Developmental Psychology”American Psychological Association28 (2): 191–204. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.28.2.191.
  38. Jump up^ Santrock, John W. Children. 9. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
  39. Jump up^ K. Kaye, The Mental and Social Life of Babies. U. Chicago Press, 1982.
  40. Jump up to:a b c Santrock, John W. (2004). Life-Span Development (9th Ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill College – Chapter 8
  41. Jump up^ Patrica H. Miller Theories of Developmental Psychology 5th Edition, Worth Publishers 2009
  42. Jump up^ Michael W. Eysenck, & Mark. T Keane. (2010). Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s Handbook, (6th.). East Sussex: Psychology Press. Retrieved from psypress.com.
  43. Jump up^ Naested, I., Potvin, B., & Waldron, P. (2004). Understanding the landscape of teaching. Toronto, Ontario: Pearson Education Canada.
  44. Jump up^ Shaffer, D. R., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T. (2005). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence. Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education Canada.
  45. Jump up^ Piaget, J. (1953). The origin of intelligence in the child. New Fetter Lane, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  46. Jump up to:a b c Auger, W. F., & Rich, S. J. (2007). Curriculum theory and methods: Perspectives on learning and teaching. Mississauga, Ontario: John Wiley & Sons Canada.
  47. Jump up^ Gallagher, J. M., & Reid, D. K. (1981). The learning theory of Piaget and Inhelder. Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed.
  48. Jump up^ Siegel, L. S. (1993). Amazing new discovery: Piaget was wrong! Canadian Psychology, 34(3): 234–249.
  49. Jump up^ “41st Annual Meeting of The Jean Piaget Society” (PDF). Piaget.prg. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  50. Jump up to:a b c Henson, Kenneth (2003). “Foundations for Learner-Centered Education: A Knowledge Base”. Education1124 (1): 5–16.
  51. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Seifert, Kelvin; Sutton, Rosemary (2009). Educational Psychology (PDF) (2nd ed.). Florida: Orange Grove. ISBN 978-1616101541. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  52. Jump up^ Hawkins, Shannon M.; Heflin, L. Juane (2001). “Increasing Secondary Teachers’ Behavior-Specific Praise Using a Video Self-Modeling and Visual Performance Feedback Intervention”. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions12 (2): 97–108. doi:10.1177/1098300709358110.
  53. Jump up to:a b c Piaget, J. (1964). Development and learning. In R.E. Ripple a& V.N. Rockcastle (Eds.), Piaget Rediscovered: A Report on the Conference of Cognitive Studies and Curriculum Development (pp. 7–20). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.
  54. Jump up^ Griffin, S.A. (2004). “Building number sense with Number Worlds: a mathematics program for young children”. Early Childhood Research Quarterly19: 173–180. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2004.01.012.
  55. Jump up^ Barnes, Michael Horace (2000). Stages of thought: the co-evolution of religious thought and science. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513389-7.
  56. Jump up^ Damerow, P. (1998). “Prehistory And Cognitive Development”Piaget, Evolution, and Development. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-8058-2210-6. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
  57. Jump up^ Kieran Egan (1997). The educated mind: How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding. Chicago: University of Chicago PressISBN 0-226-19036-6.
  58. Jump up^ Gablik, Suzi (1977). Progress in art. New York: Rizzoli. ISBN 0-8478-0082-2.
  59. Jump up^ LePan, Don (1989). The cognitive revolution in Western culture. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-45796-X.
  60. Jump up^ Radding, Charles (1985). A world made by men: cognition and society, 400–1200. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-1664-7.
  61. Jump up^ McKinney, Michael L.; Parker, Sue Taylor (1999). Origins of intelligence: the evolution of cognitive development in monkeys, apes, and humans. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-6012-1.
  62. Jump up^ Burman, J. T. (2007). “Piaget No ‘Remedy’ for Kuhn, But the Two Should be Read Together: Comment on Tsou’s ‘Piaget vs. Kuhn on Scientific Progress'”. Theory & Psychology17 (5): 721–732. doi:10.1177/0959354307079306.
  63. Jump up^ Burman, J. T. (2008). “Experimenting in relation to Piaget: Education is a chaperoned process of adaptation”. Perspectives on Science16 (2): 160–195. doi:10.1162/posc.2008.16.2.160.
  64. Jump up^ Drescher, Gary (1991). Made-Up Minds: A Constructivist Approach to Artificial Intelligence. Boston: MIT Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-262-04120-1.
  65. Jump up^ Spencer, J. P.; Clearfield, M.; Corbetta, D.; Ulrich, B.; Buchanan, P.; Schöner, G. (2006). “Moving Toward a Grand Theory of Development: In Memory of Esther Thelen”. Child Development77 (6): 1521–1538. PMID 17107442doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00955.x.
  66. Jump up^ Repacholi, Betty; Alison Gopnik (1997). “Early reasoning about desires: Evidence from 14- and 18-month-olds”Developmental Psychology3: 12–21. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.33.1.12. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  67. Jump up^ Tudge, Jonathan; Barbara Rogoff (1998). “Peer influences on cognitive development: Piagetian and Vygotskian perspectives”. In Peter Lloyd; Charles Fernyhough. Lev Vygotsky: Critical Assessments, Volume 3. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-11154-6.
  68. Jump up^ Jean Piaget, The Construction of Reality in the Child (1954 [1937]), pp. 354–5.
  69. Jump up^ The list is certain only to 1966. The source is p. xviii of F. Bresson & M. de Montmollin, 1966, Psychologie et épistémologie génétique: thèmes Piagétiens (Hommage à Jean Piaget avec une bibliographie complète de ses oeuvres). Paris: Dunod. (Note: This list provides “Varsovie” instead of Warsaw, as this is the French name for the capital of Poland.)
  70. Jump up^ Reported in 1971, in Anuario de psicología, as part of the proceedings of a celebration of Piaget’s 70th birthday, raco.cat
  71. Jump up^ Kessen, W (1996). “American Psychology just before Piaget”. Psychological Science7 (4): 196–199. JSTOR 40062944doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.1996.tb00358.x.


  • Aqueci, F. (2003). Ordine e trasformazione: morale, mente, discorso in Piaget. Acireale-Roma: Bonanno. ISBN 88-7796-148-1.
  • Amann-Gainotti, M.; Ducret, J.-J. (1992). “Jean Piaget, disciple of Pierre Janet: Influence of behavior psychology and relations with psychoanalysis”. Information Psychiatrique68: 598–606.
  • Beilin, H. (1992). “Piaget’s enduring contribution to developmental psychology”. Developmental Psychology28 (2): 191–204. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.28.2.191.
  • Beilin, H. (1994). Jean Piaget’s enduring contribution to developmental psychology. A century of developmental psychology (pp. 257–290). Washington, DC US: American Psychological Association.
  • Bringuier, J.-C. (1980). Conversations with Jean Piaget (B.M. Gulati, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1977) ISBN 0-226-07503-6.
  • Chapman, M. (1988). Constructive evolution: Origins and development of Piaget’s thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-36712-3.
  • Commons, M. L.; Goodheart, E. A.; Pekker, A.; Dawson, T.L.; Draney, K.; Adams, K. M. (2008). “Using Rasch Scaled Stage Scores To Validate Orders of Hierarchical Complexity of Balance Beam Task Sequences”. Journal of Applied Measurement9 (2): 182–99. PMID 18480514.
  • Demetriou, A. (1998). Cognitive development. In A. Demetriou, W. Doise, K. F. M. van Lieshout (Eds.), Life-span developmental psychology(pp. 179–269). London: Wiley.
  • Demetriou, A., Mouyi, A., & Spanoudis, G. (2010). The development of mental processing. Nesselroade, J. R. (2010). Methods in the study of life-span human development: Issues and answers. In W. F. Overton (Ed.), Biology, cognition and methods across the life-span. Volume 1 of the Handbook of life-span development (pp. 36–55), Editor-in-chief: R. M. Lerner. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Duveen, G. & Psaltis, C. (2008). The constructive role of asymmetries in social interaction. In U. Mueller, J. I. M. Carpendale, N. Budwig & B. Sokol (Eds.), Social life and social knowledge: Toward a process account of development. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Flavell, J. (1967). The developmental psychology of Jean Piaget. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company. ISBN 0-442-02413-4.
  • Fowler, J. W. (1981). Stages of faith: The psychology of human development and the quest for meaning. San Francisco: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-062866-9.
  • Gattico, E. (2001). Jean Piaget. Milano: Bruno Mondadori. ISBN 88-424-9741-X.
  • Hallpike, C.R. (1979). The foundations of primitive thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-823196-2.
  • Ivey, A. (1986). Developmental therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 1-55542-022-2.
  • Kamii, C. (1985). Young children reinvent arithmetic: Implications of Piaget’s theory. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Kesselring, T. (1999). Jean Piaget. München: Beck. ISBN 3-406-44512-8.
  • Kassotakis, M. & Flouris, G. (2006) Μάθηση & Διδασκαλία, Αthens.
  • Kitchener, R. (1986). Piaget’s theory of knowledge: Genetic epistemology & scientific reason. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03579-9.
  • Kose, G. (1987). “A philosopher’s conception of Piaget: Piagetian theory reconsidered”. Theoretical & Philosophical Psychology7 (1): 52–57. doi:10.1037/h0091442.
  • Lourenço, O.; Machado, A. (1996). “In defense of Piaget’s theory: A reply to ten common criticisms”. Psychological Review103 (1): 143–164. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.103.1.143. CUNY pdf
  • Mayer, S. (2005). “The early evolution of Jean Piaget’s clinical method”. History of Psychology8 (4): 362–382. PMID 17152748doi:10.1037/1093-4510.8.4.362.
  • Messerly, J.G. (1992). Piaget’s conception of evolution: Beyond Darwin and Lamarck. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-8476-8243-9.
  • Phillips, John L. (1969). The Origin of Intellect: Piaget’s Theory. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman. ISBN 0-7167-0579-6.
  • Psaltis, C.; Duveen, G. (2006). “Social relations and cognitive development: The influence of conversation type and representations of gender”. European Journal of Social Psychology36 (3): 407–430. doi:10.1002/ejsp.308.
  • Psaltis, C.; Duveen, G. (2007). “Conversation types and conservation: Forms of recognition and cognitive development”. British Journal of Developmental Psychology25 (1): 79–102. doi:10.1348/026151005X91415.
  • Ripple, R.E., & Rockcastle, V.N. (Eds.) (1964). Piaget rediscovered. A report of the conference on cognitive studies and curriculum development. Cornell University: School of Education.
  • Robinson, R.J. (2005). The birth of reason. Prometheus Research Group. (Available online at prometheus.org.uk)
  • Smith, L. (Ed.) (1992). Jean Piaget: Critical assessments (4 Vols.). London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-04408-1.
  • Smith, L. (1993). Necessary knowledge: Piagetian perspectives on constructivism. Hove, UK: Lawrence Erlbaum. ISBN 0-86377-270-6.
  • Smith, L. (Ed.) (1996). Critical readings on Piaget. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13317-3.
  • Smith, L. (2001). Jean Piaget. In J. A. Palmer (Ed.), 50 modern thinkers on education: From Piaget to the present. London: Routledge.
  • Traill, R.R. (2000) Physics and Philosophy of the Mind. Melbourne: Ondwelle. ISBN 0-9577737-1-4
  • Traill, R.R. (2005a) …….. . Melbourne: Ondwelle. ondwelle.com
  • Traill, R.R. (2005b / 2008) Thinking by Molecule, Synapse, or both? — From Piaget’s Schema, to the Selecting/Editing of ncRNA. Melbourne: Ondwelle. ondwelle.com [Also in French: ondwelle.com
  • Vidal, F. (1994). Piaget before Piaget. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-66716-6.
  • Vonèche, J.J. (1985). Genetic epistemology: Piaget’s theory. In T. Husén & T.N. Postlethwaite (Eds.-in-chief), International encyclopedia of education (Vol. 4). Oxford: Pergamon.
  • Wynn, T. (1979). “The intelligence of later Acheulean hominids”. Man (ns)14: 371–391. doi:10.2307/2801865.
  • Wynn, T. (1981). “The intelligence of Oldowan hominids”. Journal of Human Evolution10 (7): 529–541. doi:10.1016/S0047-2484(81)80046-2.

Further reading

Piaget inspired innumerable studies and even new areas of inquiry. The following is a list of critiques and commentaries, organized using the same citation-based method as the list of his own major works (above). These represent the significant and influential post-Piagetian writings in their respective sub-disciplines.


  • Vygotsky, L. (1963). Thought and language. [12630 citations]


Major works

  • Bates, E. (1976). Language and context: The acquisition of pragmatics. [959]
  • Ginsburg, H. P. & Opper, S. (1969). Piaget’s theory of intellectual development. [931]
  • Singley, M. K. & Anderson, J. R. (1989). The transfer of cognitive skill. [836]
  • Duckworth, E. (1973). The having of wonderful ideas. [775]
  • Youniss, J. (1982). Parents and peers in social development: A Sullivan-Piaget perspective. [763]
  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1970). A mathematical model for the transition rule in Piaget’s developmental stages. [563]
  • Schaffer, H. R. & Emerson, P. E. (1964). The development of social attachments in infancy. [535]

Works of significance

  • Shatz, M.; Gelman, R. (1973). “The Development of Communication Skills: Modifications in the Speech of Young Children as a Function of Listener”. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development38 (5): 1–37. doi:10.2307/1165783. [470]
  • Broke, H (1971). “Interpersonal perception of young children: Egocentrism or Empathy?”. Developmental Psychology5 (2): 263–269. doi:10.1037/h0031267. [469]
  • Wadsworth, B. J. (1989). Piaget’s theory of cognitive and affective development [421]
  • Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1992). Beyond Modularity. [419]
  • Bodner, G. M. (1986). Constructivism: A theory of knowledge. [403]
  • Shantz, C. U. (1975). The Development of Social Cognition. [387]
  • Diamond, A.Goldman-Rakic, P. S. (1989). “Comparison of human infants and rhesus monkeys on Piaget’s AB task: evidence for dependence on dorsolateral prefrontal cortex”. Experimental Brain Research74 (1): 24–40. doi:10.1007/bf00248277. [370]
  • Gruber, H. & Voneche, H. (1982). The Essential Piaget. [348]
  • Walkerdine, V. (1984). Developmental psychology and the child-centred pedagogy: The insertion of Piaget into early education. [338]
  • Kamii, C. & DeClark, G. (1985). Young children reinvent arithmetic: Implications of Piaget’s theory [335]
  • Riegel, K. F. (1973). Dialectic operations: The final period of cognitive development [316]
  • Bandura, A.; McDonald, F. J. (1963). “Influence of social reinforcement and the behavior of models in shaping children’s moral judgment”. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology67 (3): 274–281. doi:10.1037/h0044714. [314]
  • Karplus, R. (1980). Teaching for the development of reasoning. [312]
  • Brainerd, C. (1978). The stage question in cognitive-developmental theory. [311]
  • Brainerd, C. (1978). Piaget’s theory of intelligence. [292]
  • Gilligan, C. (1997). Moral orientation and moral development [285]
  • Diamond, A. (1991). Neuropsychological insights into the meaning of object concept development [284]
  • Braine, M. D. S., & Rumain, B. (1983). Logical reasoning. [276]
  • John-Steiner, V. (2000). Creative collaboration. [266]
  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1987). Organismic processes for neo-Piagetian theories: A dialectical causal account of cognitive development. [261]
  • Hallpike, C. R. (1979). The foundations of primitive thought [261]
  • Furth, H. (1969). Piaget and Knowledge [261]
  • Gelman, R. & Baillargeon, R. (1983). A review of some Piagetian concepts. [260]
  • O’Loughlin, M. (1992). Rethinking science education: Beyond piagetian constructivism. Toward a sociocultural model of teaching and learning. [252]
  • Messerly, John G. (1996). “Psychogenesis and the History of Science: Piaget and the Problem of Scientific Change”, The Modern Schoolman LXXIII, 295-307.

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NAIRU is an acronym for non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment,[1] and refers to a level of unemployment below which inflation rises. It was first introduced as NIRU (non-inflationary rate of unemployment) by Franco Modigliani and Lucas Papademos in 1975, as an improvement over the “natural rate of unemployment” concept,[2][3][4] which was proposed earlier by Milton Friedman.[5]

Monetary policy conducted under the assumption of a NAIRU involves allowing just enough unemployment in the economy to prevent inflation rising above a given target figure. Prices are allowed to increase gradually and some unemployment is tolerated.




An early form of NAIRU is found in the work of Abba P. Lerner (Lerner 1951, Chapter 14), who referred to it as “low full employment” attained via the expansion of aggregate demand, in contrast with the “high full employment” which adds incomes policies (wage and price controls) to demand stimulation.

The concept arose in the wake of the popularity of the Phillips curve which summarized the observed negative correlation between the rate of unemployment and the rate of inflation (measured as annual nominal wage growth of employees) for number of industrialised countries with more or less mixed economies. This correlation (previously seen for the U.S. by Irving Fisher) persuaded some analysts that it was impossible for governments simultaneously to target both arbitrarily low unemployment and price stability, and that, therefore, it was government’s role to seek a point on the trade-off between unemployment and inflation which matched a domestic social consensus.

During the 1970s in the United States and several other industrialized countries, Phillips curve analysis became less popular, because inflation rose at the same time that unemployment rose (see stagflation).

Worse, as far as many economists were concerned, was that the Phillips curve had little or no theoretical basis. Critics of this analysis (such as Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps) argued that the Phillips curve could not be a fundamental characteristic of economic general equilibrium because it showed a correlation between a real economic variable (the unemployment rate) and a nominal economic variable (the inflation rate). Their counter-analysis was that government macroeconomic policy (primarily monetary policy) was being driven by a low unemployment target and that this caused expectations of inflation to change, so that steadily accelerating inflation rather than reduced unemployment was the result. The resulting prescription was that government economic policy (or at least monetary policy) should not be influenced by any level of unemployment below a critical level – the “natural rate” or NAIRU.[6]

The natural rate hypothesis

The idea behind the natural rate hypothesis put forward by Friedman was that any given labor market structure must involve a certain amount of unemployment, including frictional unemployment associated with individuals changing jobs and possibly classical unemployment arising from real wages being held above the market-clearing level by minimum wage laws, trade unions or other labour market institutions. Unexpected inflation might allow unemployment to fall below the natural rate by temporarily depressing real wages, but this effect would dissipate once expectations about inflation were corrected. Only with continuously accelerating inflation could rates of unemployment below the natural rate be maintained.

The analysis supporting the natural rate hypothesis was controversial, and empirical evidence suggested that the natural rate varied over time in ways that could not easily be explained by changes in labor market structures. As a result, the “natural rate” terminology was largely supplanted by that of the NAIRU, which referred to a rate of unemployment below which inflation would accelerate, but did not imply a commitment to any particular theoretical explanation, or a prediction that the rate would be stable over time.


If {\displaystyle U*}U* is the NAIRU and {\displaystyle U}U is the actual unemployment rate, the theory says that:

if {\displaystyle U<U*}U<U* for a few years, inflationary expectations rise, so that the inflation rate tends to increase;
if {\displaystyle U>U*}U>U* for a few years, inflationary expectations fall, so that the inflation rate tends to slow (there is disinflation); and
if {\displaystyle U=U*}U=U*, the inflation rate tends to stay the same, unless there is an exogenous shock.

Okun’s law can be stated as saying that for every one percentage point by which the actual unemployment rate exceeds the so-called “natural” rate of unemployment, real gross domestic product is reduced by 2% to 3%.


The NAIRU analysis assumes that if inflation increases, workers and employers can create contracts that take into account expectations of higher inflation and agree on a level of wage inflation that matches the expected level of price inflation to maintain constant real wages. Therefore, the analysis requires inflation to accelerate to maintain low unemployment. However, this argument implicitly assumes that workers and employers cannot contract to incorporate accelerating inflation into wage expectations, but there is no clear justification for assuming that expectations or contract structures are limited in this way aside from the fact that such wage arrangements are not commonly observed.

The NAIRU analysis is especially problematic if the Phillips curve displays hysteresis, that is, if episodes of high unemployment raise the NAIRU.[7] This could happen, for example, if unemployed workers lose skills so that employers prefer to bid up of the wages of existing workers when demand increases, rather than hiring the unemployed.

Others, such as Abba Lerner (1951, 1967) and Hyman Minsky (1965) have argued that a similar effect can be achieved without the human costs of unemployment via a job guarantee, where rather than being unemployed, those who cannot find work in the private sector should be employed by the government. This theory, and the policy of the job guarantee replaces the NAIRU with the NAIBER (non-accelerating-inflation-buffer employment ratio).[8]

Relationship to other economic theories

Most economists do not see the NAIRU theory as explaining all inflation. Instead, it is possible to move along a short run Phillips Curve (even though the NAIRU theory says that this curve shifts in the longer run) so that unemployment can rise or fall due to changes in inflation. Exogenous supply-shock inflation is also possible, as with the “energy crises” of the 1970s or the credit crunch of the early 21st century.

The NAIRU theory was mainly intended as an argument against active Keynesian demand management and in favor of free markets (at least on the macroeconomic level). There is, for instance, no theoretical basis for predicting the NAIRU. Monetarists instead support the generalized assertion that the correct approach to unemployment is through microeconomic measures (to lower the NAIRU whatever its exact level), rather than macroeconomic activity based on an estimate of the NAIRU in relation to the actual level of unemployment. Monetary policy, they maintain, should aim instead at stabilizing the inflation rate.


The NAIRU, non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, is actually misnamed. It is the price level that is accelerating (or decelerating), not the inflation rate. The inflation rate is just changing, not accelerating.[9]

See also


  1. Jump up^ Coe, David T, Nominal Wages. The NAIRU and Wage Flexibility. (PDF), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  2. Jump up^ Modigliani, Franco; Papademos, Lucas (1975). “Targets for Monetary Policy in the Coming Year”. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. The Brookings Institution. 1975 (1): 141–165. doi:10.2307/2534063. JSTOR 2534063.
  3. Jump up^ Robert M. Solow, Modigliani and Monetarism, p. 6.
  4. Jump up^ Snowdon, Brian; Vane, Howard R. (2005). Modern Macroeconomics: Its Origins, Development and Current State. Cheltenham: E. Elgar. p. 187. ISBN 1-84376-394-X.
  5. Jump up^ Friedman, Milton (1968). “The Role of Monetary Policy”. American Economic Review. 58 (1): 1–17. JSTOR 1831652.
  6. Jump up^ Hoover, Kevin D, “Phillips Curve”, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, The Library of Economics and Liberty, retrieved 16 July 2007
  7. Jump up^ Ball, Laurence (2009), Hysteresis in Unemployment: Old and New Evidence (PDF)
  8. Jump up^ William Mitchell, J. Muysken (2008), Full employment abandoned: shifting sands and policy failures, Edward Elgar Publishing, ISBN 1-85898-507-2
  9. Jump up^ Case, K.E. and Fair, R.C. and Oster, S.M. (2016). Principles of Macroeconomics. Pearson. ISBN 9780133023671.

Further reading

External links


Phillips curve

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Phillips curve in supernova astrophysics, see Phillips relationship.

The Phillips curve is a single-equation empirical model, named after A. W. Phillips, describing a historical inverse relationship between rates of unemployment and corresponding rates of inflation that result within an economy. Stated simply, decreased unemployment, (i.e., increased levels of employment) in an economy will correlate with higher rates of inflation.

While there is a short run tradeoff between unemployment and inflation, it has not been observed in the long run.[1] In 1968, Milton Friedman asserted that the Phillips curve was only applicable in the short-run and that in the long-run, inflationary policies will not decrease unemployment.[2][3] Friedman then correctly predicted that, in the 1973–75 recession, both inflation and unemployment would increase.[3] The long-run Phillips curve is now seen as a vertical line at the natural rate of unemployment, where the rate of inflation has no effect on unemployment.[4] Accordingly, the Phillips curve is now seen as too simplistic, with the unemployment rate supplanted by more accurate predictors of inflation based on velocity of moneysupply measures such as the MZM (“money zero maturity”) velocity,[5] which is affected by unemployment in the short but not the long term.[6]




Rate of Change of Wages against Unemployment, United Kingdom 1913–1948 from Phillips (1958)

William Phillips, a New Zealand born economist, wrote a paper in 1958 titled The Relation between Unemployment and the Rate of Change of Money Wage Rates in the United Kingdom, 1861-1957, which was published in the quarterly journal Economica.[7] In the paper Phillips describes how he observed an inverse relationship between money wage changes and unemployment in the British economy over the period examined. Similar patterns were found in other countries and in 1960 Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow took Phillips’ work and made explicit the link between inflation and unemployment: when inflation was high, unemployment was low, and vice versa.[8]

In the 1920s, an American economist Irving Fisher noted this kind of Phillips curve relationship. However, Phillips’ original curve described the behavior of money wages.[9]

In the years following Phillips’ 1958 paper, many economists in the advanced industrial countries believed that his results showed that there was a permanently stable relationship between inflation and unemployment.[citation needed] One implication of this for government policy was that governments could control unemployment and inflation with a Keynesian policy. They could tolerate a reasonably high rate of inflation as this would lead to lower unemployment – there would be a trade-off between inflation and unemployment. For example, monetary policy and/or fiscal policy could be used to stimulate the economy, raising gross domestic product and lowering the unemployment rate. Moving along the Phillips curve, this would lead to a higher inflation rate, the cost of enjoying lower unemployment rates.[citation needed] Economist James Forder argues that this view is historically false and that neither economists nor governments took that view and that the ‘Phillips curve myth’ was an invention of the 1970s.[10]

Since 1974, seven Nobel Prizes have been given to economists for, among other things, work critical of some variations of the Phillips curve. Some of this criticism is based on the United States’ experience during the 1970s, which had periods of high unemployment and high inflation at the same time. The authors receiving those prizes include Thomas Sargent, Christopher Sims, Edmund Phelps, Edward Prescott, Robert A. Mundell, Robert E. Lucas, Milton Friedman, and F.A. Hayek.[11]


In the 1970s, many countries experienced high levels of both inflation and unemployment also known as stagflation. Theories based on the Phillips curve suggested that this could not happen, and the curve came under a concerted attack from a group of economists headed by Milton Friedman.[citation needed] Friedman argued that the Phillips curve relationship was only a short-run phenomenon. In this he followed eight years after Samuelson and Solow [1960] who wrote ” All of our discussion has been phrased in short-run terms, dealing with what might happen in the next few years. It would be wrong, though, to think that our Figure 2 menu that related obtainable price and unemployment behavior will maintain its same shape in the longer run. What we do in a policy way during the next few years might cause it to shift in a definite way.”[8] As Samuelson and Solow had argued 8 years earlier, he argued that in the long run, workers and employers will take inflation into account, resulting in employment contracts that increase pay at rates near anticipated inflation. Unemployment would then begin to rise back to its previous level, but now with higher inflation rates. This result implies that over the longer-run there is no trade-off between inflation and unemployment. This implication is significant for practical reasons because it implies that central banks should not set employment targets above the natural rate.[1]

More recent research has shown that there is a moderate trade-off between low-levels of inflation and unemployment. Work by George Akerlof, William Dickens, and George Perry,[12]implies that if inflation is reduced from two to zero percent, unemployment will be permanently increased by 1.5 percent. This is because workers generally have a higher tolerance for real wage cuts than nominal ones. For example, a worker will more likely accept a wage increase of two percent when inflation is three percent, than a wage cut of one percent when the inflation rate is zero.


U.S. Inflation and Unemployment 1/2000 to 4/2013

Most economists no longer use the Phillips curve in its original form because it was shown to be too simplistic.[6] This can be seen in a cursory analysis of US inflation and unemployment data from 1953–92. There is no single curve that will fit the data, but there are three rough aggregations—1955–71, 1974–84, and 1985–92—each of which shows a general, downwards slope, but at three very different levels with the shifts occurring abruptly. The data for 1953–54 and 1972–73 do not group easily, and a more formal analysis posits up to five groups/curves over the period.[1]

But still today, modified forms of the Phillips Curve that take inflationary expectations into account remain influential. The theory goes under several names, with some variation in its details, but all modern versions distinguish between short-run and long-run effects on unemployment. Modern Phillips curve models include both a short-run Phillips Curve and a long-run Phillips Curve. This is because in the short run, there is generally an inverse relationship between inflation and the unemployment rate; as illustrated in the downward sloping short-run Phillips curve. In the long run, that relationship breaks down and the economy eventually returns to the natural rate of unemployment regardless of the inflation rate.[13]

The “short-run Phillips curve” is also called the “expectations-augmented Phillips curve”, since it shifts up when inflationary expectations rise, Edmund Phelps and Milton Friedman argued. In the long run, this implies that monetary policy cannot affect unemployment, which adjusts back to its “natural rate“, also called the “NAIRU” or “long-run Phillips curve”. However, this long-run “neutrality” of monetary policy does allow for short run fluctuations and the ability of the monetary authority to temporarily decrease unemployment by increasing permanent inflation, and vice versa. The popular textbook of Blanchard gives a textbook presentation of the expectations-augmented Phillips curve.[14]

An equation like the expectations-augmented Phillips curve also appears in many recent New Keynesiandynamic stochastic general equilibrium models. In these macroeconomic models with sticky prices, there is a positive relation between the rate of inflation and the level of demand, and therefore a negative relation between the rate of inflation and the rate of unemployment. This relationship is often called the “New Keynesian Phillips curve.” Like the expectations-augmented Phillips curve, the New Keynesian Phillips curve implies that increased inflation can lower unemployment temporarily, but cannot lower it permanently. Two influential papers that incorporate a New Keynesian Phillips curve are Clarida, Galí, and Gertler (1999),[15] and Blanchard and Galí (2007).[16]


There are at least two different mathematical derivations of the Phillips curve. First, there is the traditional or Keynesian version. Then, there is the new Classical version associated with Robert E. Lucas, Jr.

The traditional Phillips curve

The original Phillips curve literature was not based on the unaided application of economic theory. Instead, it was based on empirical generalizations. After that, economists tried to develop theories that fit the data.

Money wage determination

The traditional Phillips curve story starts with a wage Phillips Curve, of the sort described by A.W. Phillips himself. This describes the rate of growth of money wages (gW). Here and below, the operator g is the equivalent of “the percentage rate of growth of” the variable that follows.

{\displaystyle gW=gW^{T}-f(U)}gW=gW^{{T}}-f(U)

The “money wage rate” (W) is shorthand for total money wage costs per production employee, including benefits and payroll taxes. The focus is on only production workers’ money wages, because (as discussed below) these costs are crucial to pricing decisions by the firms.

This equation tells us that the growth of money wages rises with the trend rate of growth of money wages (indicated by the superscript “T”) and falls with the unemployment rate (U). The function f() is assumed to be monotonically increasing with U so that the dampening of money-wage increases by unemployment is shown by the negative sign in the equation above.

There are several possible stories behind this equation. A major one is that money wages are set by bilateral negotiations under partial bilateral monopoly: as the unemployment rate rises, all else constant worker bargaining power falls, so that workers are less able to increase their wages in the face of employer resistance.

During the 1970s, this story had to be modified, because (as the late Abba Lerner had suggested in the 1940s) workers try to keep up with inflation. Since the 1970s, the equation has been changed to introduce the role of inflationary expectations (or the expected inflation rate, gPex). This produces the expectations-augmented wage Phillips curve:

{\displaystyle gW=gW^{T}-f(U)+\lambda .gP^{ex}.}gW=gW^{{T}}-f(U)+\lambda .gP^{{ex}}.

The introduction of inflationary expectations into the equation implies that actual inflation can feed back into inflationary expectations and thus cause further inflation. The late economist James Tobin dubbed the last term “inflationary inertia,” because in the current period, inflation exists which represents an inflationary impulse left over from the past.

It also involved much more than expectations, including the price-wage spiral. In this spiral, employers try to protect profits by raising their prices and employees try to keep up with inflation to protect their real wages. This process can feed on itself, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The parameter λ (which is presumed constant during any time period) represents the degree to which employees can gain money wage increases to keep up with expected inflation, preventing a fall in expected real wages. It is usually assumed that this parameter equals unity in the long run.

In addition, the function f() was modified to introduce the idea of the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU) or what’s sometimes called the “natural” rate of unemployment or the inflation-threshold unemployment rate:

[1] gW = gWTf(UU*) + λ·gPex.

Here, U* is the NAIRU. As discussed below, if U < U*, inflation tends to accelerate. Similarly, if U > U*, inflation tends to slow. It is assumed that f(0) = 0, so that when U = U*, the f term drops out of the equation.

In equation [1], the roles of gWT and gPex seem to be redundant, playing much the same role. However, assuming that λ is equal to unity, it can be seen that they are not. If the trend rate of growth of money wages equals zero, then the case where U equals U* implies that gW equals expected inflation. That is, expected real wages are constant.

In any reasonable economy, however, having constant expected real wages could only be consistent with actual real wages that are constant over the long haul. This does not fit with economic experience in the U.S. or any other major industrial country. Even though real wages have not risen much in recent years, there have been important increases over the decades.

An alternative is to assume that the trend rate of growth of money wages equals the trend rate of growth of average labor productivity (Z). That is:

[2] gWT = gZT.

Under assumption [2], when U equals U* and λ equals unity, expected real wages would increase with labor productivity. This would be consistent with an economy in which actual real wages increase with labor productivity. Deviations of real-wage trends from those of labor productivity might be explained by reference to other variables in the model.

Pricing decisions

Next, there is price behavior. The standard assumption is that markets are imperfectly competitive, where most businesses have some power to set prices. So the model assumes that the average business sets a unit price (P) as a mark-up (M) over the unit labor cost in production measured at a standard rate of capacity utilization (say, at 90 percent use of plant and equipment) and then adds in the unit materials cost.

The standardization involves later ignoring deviations from the trend in labor productivity. For example, assume that the growth of labor productivity is the same as that in the trend and that current productivity equals its trend value:

gZ = gZT and Z = ZT.

The markup reflects both the firm’s degree of market power and the extent to which overhead costs have to be paid. Put another way, all else equal, M rises with the firm’s power to set prices or with a rise of overhead costs relative to total costs.

So pricing follows this equation:

P = M × (unit labor cost) + (unit materials cost)
= M × (total production employment cost)/(quantity of output) + UMC.

UMC is unit raw materials cost (total raw materials costs divided by total output). So the equation can be restated as:

P = M × (production employment cost per worker)/(output per production employee) + UMC.

This equation can again be stated as:

P = M×(average money wage)/(production labor productivity) + UMC
= M×(W/Z) + UMC.

Now, assume that both the average price/cost mark-up (M) and UMC are constant. On the other hand, labor productivity grows, as before. Thus, an equation determining the price inflation rate (gP) is:

gP = gWgZT.


Then, combined with the wage Phillips curve [equation 1] and the assumption made above about the trend behavior of money wages [equation 2], this price-inflation equation gives us a simple expectations-augmented price Phillips curve:

gP = −f(UU*) + λ·gPex.

Some assume that we can simply add in gUMC, the rate of growth of UMC, in order to represent the role of supply shocks (of the sort that plagued the U.S. during the 1970s). This produces a standard short-term Phillips curve:

gP = −f(UU*) + λ·gPex + gUMC.

Economist Robert J. Gordon has called this the “Triangle Model” because it explains short-run inflationary behavior by three factors: demand inflation (due to low unemployment), supply-shock inflation (gUMC), and inflationary expectations or inertial inflation.

In the long run, it is assumed, inflationary expectations catch up with and equal actual inflation so that gP = gPex. This represents the long-term equilibrium of expectations adjustment. Part of this adjustment may involve the adaptation of expectations to the experience with actual inflation. Another might involve guesses made by people in the economy based on other evidence. (The latter idea gave us the notion of so-called rational expectations.)

Expectational equilibrium gives us the long-term Phillips curve. First, with λ less than unity:

gP = [1/(1 − λ)]·(−f(UU*) + gUMC).

This is nothing but a steeper version of the short-run Phillips curve above. Inflation rises as unemployment falls, while this connection is stronger. That is, a low unemployment rate (less than U*) will be associated with a higher inflation rate in the long run than in the short run. This occurs because the actual higher-inflation situation seen in the short run feeds back to raise inflationary expectations, which in turn raises the inflation rate further. Similarly, at high unemployment rates (greater than U*) lead to low inflation rates. These in turn encourage lower inflationary expectations, so that inflation itself drops again.

This logic goes further if λ is equal to unity, i.e., if workers are able to protect their wages completely from expected inflation, even in the short run. Now, the Triangle Model equation becomes:

f(UU*) = gUMC.

If we further assume (as seems reasonable) that there are no long-term supply shocks, this can be simplified to become:

f(UU*) = 0 which implies that U = U*.

All of the assumptions imply that in the long run, there is only one possible unemployment rate, U* at any one time. This uniqueness explains why some call this unemployment rate “natural.”

To truly understand and criticize the uniqueness of U*, a more sophisticated and realistic model is needed. For example, we might introduce the idea that workers in different sectors push for money wage increases that are similar to those in other sectors. Or we might make the model even more realistic. One important place to look is at the determination of the mark-up, M.

New classical version

The Phillips curve equation can be derived from the (short-run) Lucas aggregate supply function. The Lucas approach is very different from that the traditional view. Instead of starting with empirical data, he started with a classical economic model following very simple economic principles.

Start with the aggregate supply function:

{\displaystyle Y=Y_{n}+a(P-P_{e})\,}Y=Y_{n}+a(P-P_{e})\,

where Y is log value of the actual output, Yn is log value of the “natural” level of output, a is a positive constant, P is log value of the actual price level, and Pe is log value of the expected price level. Lucas assumes that Yn has a unique value.

Note that this equation indicates that when expectations of future inflation (or, more correctly, the future price level) are totally accurate, the last term drops out, so that actual output equals the so-called “natural” level of real GDP. This means that in the Lucas aggregate supply curve, the only reason why actual real GDP should deviate from potential—and the actual unemployment rate should deviate from the “natural” rate—is because of incorrect expectations of what is going to happen with prices in the future. (The idea has been expressed first by Keynes, General Theory, Chapter 20 section III paragraph 4).

This differs from other views of the Phillips curve, in which the failure to attain the “natural” level of output can be due to the imperfection or incompleteness of markets, the stickiness of prices, and the like. In the non-Lucas view, incorrect expectations can contribute to aggregate demand failure, but they are not the only cause. To the “new Classical” followers of Lucas, markets are presumed to be perfect and always attain equilibrium (given inflationary expectations).

We re-arrange the equation into:

{\displaystyle P=P_{e}+{\frac {Y-Y_{n}}{a}}}P=P_{e}+{\frac {Y-Y_{n}}{a}}

Next we add unexpected exogenous shocks to the world supply v:

{\displaystyle P=P_{e}+{\frac {Y-Y_{n}}{a}}+v}P=P_{e}+{\frac {Y-Y_{n}}{a}}+v

Subtracting last year’s price levels P−1 will give us inflation rates, because

{\displaystyle P-P_{-1}\ \approx \pi }P-P_{{-1}}\ \approx \pi


{\displaystyle P_{e}-P_{-1}\ \approx \pi _{e}}P_{e}-P_{{-1}}\ \approx \pi _{e}

where π and πe are the inflation and expected inflation respectively.

There is also a negative relationship between output and unemployment (as expressed by Okun’s law). Therefore, using

{\displaystyle {\frac {Y-Y_{n}}{a}}=-b(U-U_{n})}{\frac {Y-Y_{n}}{a}}=-b(U-U_{n})

where b is a positive constant, U is unemployment, and Un is the natural rate of unemployment or NAIRU, we arrive at the final form of the short-run Phillips curve:

{\displaystyle \pi =\pi _{e}-b(U-U_{n})+v\,}\pi =\pi _{e}-b(U-U_{n})+v\,

This equation, plotting inflation rate π against unemployment U gives the downward-sloping curve in the diagram that characterises the Phillips curve.

New Keynesian version

The New Keynesian Phillips curve was originally derived by Roberts in 1995,[17] and since been used in most state-of-the-art New Keynesian DSGE models like the one of Clarida, Galí, and Gertler (2000).[18][19]

{\displaystyle \pi _{t}=\beta E_{t}[\pi _{t+1}]+\kappa y_{t}}\pi _{{t}}=\beta E_{{t}}[\pi _{{t+1}}]+\kappa y_{{t}}

where {\displaystyle \kappa ={\frac {\alpha [1-(1-\alpha )\beta ]\phi }{1-\alpha }}}\kappa ={\frac {\alpha [1-(1-\alpha )\beta ]\phi }{1-\alpha }}. The current expectations of next period’s inflation are incorporated as {\displaystyle \beta E_{t}[\pi _{t+1}]}\beta E_{{t}}[\pi _{{t+1}}]

NAIRU and rational expectations

Short-Run Phillips Curve before and after Expansionary Policy, with Long-Run Phillips Curve (NAIRU)

In the 1970s, new theories, such as rational expectations and the NAIRU (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment) arose to explain how stagflation could occur. The latter theory, also known as the “natural rate of unemployment“, distinguished between the “short-term” Phillips curve and the “long-term” one. The short-term Phillips Curve looked like a normal Phillips Curve, but shifted in the long run as expectations changed. In the long run, only a single rate of unemployment (the NAIRU or “natural” rate) was consistent with a stable inflation rate. The long-run Phillips Curve was thus vertical, so there was no trade-off between inflation and unemployment. Edmund Phelps won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2006 in part for this. However, the expectations argument was in fact very widely understood before his work on it.[20]

In the diagram, the long-run Phillips curve is the vertical red line. The NAIRU theory says that when unemployment is at the rate defined by this line, inflation will be stable. However, in the short-run policymakers will face an inflation-unemployment rate tradeoff marked by the “Initial Short-Run Phillips Curve” in the graph. Policymakers can therefore reduce the unemployment rate temporarily, moving from point A to point B through expansionary policy. However, according to the NAIRU, exploiting this short-run tradeoff will raise inflation expectations, shifting the short-run curve rightward to the “New Short-Run Phillips Curve” and moving the point of equilibrium from B to C. Thus the reduction in unemployment below the “Natural Rate” will be temporary, and lead only to higher inflation in the long run.

Since the short-run curve shifts outward due to the attempt to reduce unemployment, the expansionary policy ultimately worsens the exploitable tradeoff between unemployment and inflation. That is, it results in more inflation at each short-run unemployment rate. The name “NAIRU” arises because with actual unemployment below it, inflation accelerates, while with unemployment above it, inflation decelerates. With the actual rate equal to it, inflation is stable, neither accelerating nor decelerating. One practical use of this model was to provide an explanation for stagflation, which confounded the traditional Phillips curve.

The rational expectations theory said that expectations of inflation were equal to what actually happened, with some minor and temporary errors. This in turn suggested that the short-run period was so short that it was non-existent: any effort to reduce unemployment below the NAIRU, for example, would immediately cause inflationary expectations to rise and thus imply that the policy would fail. Unemployment would never deviate from the NAIRU except due to random and transitory mistakes in developing expectations about future inflation rates. In this perspective, any deviation of the actual unemployment rate from the NAIRU was an illusion.

However, in the 1990s in the U.S., it became increasingly clear that the NAIRU did not have a unique equilibrium and could change in unpredictable ways. In the late 1990s, the actual unemployment rate fell below 4% of the labor force, much lower than almost all estimates of the NAIRU. But inflation stayed very moderate rather than accelerating. So, just as the Phillips curve had become a subject of debate, so did the NAIRU.

Furthermore, the concept of rational expectations had become subject to much doubt when it became clear that the main assumption of models based on it was that there exists a single (unique) equilibrium in the economy that is set ahead of time, determined independently of demand conditions. The experience of the 1990s suggests that this assumption cannot be sustained.

Theoretical questions

The Phillips curve started as an empirical observation in search of a theoretical explanation.[citation needed] Specifically, the Phillips curve tried to determine whether the inflation-unemployment link was causal or simply correlational. There are several major explanations of the short-term Phillips curve regularity.

To Milton Friedman there is a short-term correlation between inflation shocks and employment. When an inflationary surprise occurs, workers are fooled into accepting lower pay because they do not see the fall in real wages right away. Firms hire them because they see the inflation as allowing higher profits for given nominal wages. This is a movement along the Phillips curve as with change A. Eventually, workers discover that real wages have fallen, so they push for higher money wages. This causes the Phillips curve to shift upward and to the right, as with B. Some research underlines that some implicit and serious assumptions are actually in the background of the Friedmanian Phillips curve. This information asymmetry and a special pattern of flexibility of prices and wages are both necessary if one wants to maintain the mechanism told by Friedman. However, as it is argued, these presumptions remain completely unrevealed and theoretically ungrounded by Friedman.[21]

Economists such as Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps reject this theory because it implies that workers suffer from money illusion. According to them, rational workers would only react to real wages, that is, inflation adjusted wages. However, one of the characteristics of a modern industrial economy is that workers do not encounter their employers in an atomized and perfect market. They operate in a complex combination of imperfect markets, monopolies, monopsonies, labor unions, and other institutions. In many cases, they may lack the bargaining power to act on their expectations, no matter how rational they are, or their perceptions, no matter how free of money illusion they are. It is not that high inflation causes low unemployment (as in Milton Friedman’s theory) as much as vice versa: Low unemployment raises worker bargaining power, allowing them to successfully push for higher nominal wages. To protect profits, employers raise prices.

Similarly, built-in inflation is not simply a matter of subjective “inflationary expectations” but also reflects the fact that high inflation can gather momentum and continue beyond the time when it was started, due to the objective price/wage spiral.

However, other economists, like Jeffrey Herbener, argue that price is market-determined and competitive firms cannot simply raise prices.[citation needed] They reject the Phillips curve entirely, concluding that unemployment’s influence is only a small portion of a much larger inflation picture that includes prices of raw materials, intermediate goods, cost of raising capital, worker productivity, land, and other factors.

Gordon’s triangle model

Robert J. Gordon of Northwestern University has analyzed the Phillips curve to produce what he calls the triangle model, in which the actual inflation rate is determined by the sum of

  1. demand pull or short-term Phillips curve inflation,
  2. cost push or supply shocks, and
  3. built-in inflation.

The last reflects inflationary expectations and the price/wage spiral. Supply shocks and changes in built-in inflation are the main factors shifting the short-run Phillips Curve and changing the trade-off. In this theory, it is not only inflationary expectations that can cause stagflation. For example, the steep climb of oil prices during the 1970s could have this result.

Changes in built-in inflation follow the partial-adjustment logic behind most theories of the NAIRU:

  1. Low unemployment encourages high inflation, as with the simple Phillips curve. But if unemployment stays low and inflation stays high for a long time, as in the late 1960s in the U.S., both inflationary expectations and the price/wage spiral accelerate. This shifts the short-run Phillips curve upward and rightward, so that more inflation is seen at any given unemployment rate. (This is with shift B in the diagram.)
  2. High unemployment encourages low inflation, again as with a simple Phillips curve. But if unemployment stays high and inflation stays low for a long time, as in the early 1980s in the U.S., both inflationary expectations and the price/wage spiral slow. This shifts the short-run Phillips curve downward and leftward, so that less inflation is seen at each unemployment rate.

In between these two lies the NAIRU, where the Phillips curve does not have any inherent tendency to shift, so that the inflation rate is stable. However, there seems to be a range in the middle between “high” and “low” where built-in inflation stays stable. The ends of this “non-accelerating inflation range of unemployment rates” change over time.

Joke article

In 2008, Gregor Smith published a joke article in the prestigious Journal of Money, Credit and Banking titled “Japan’s Phillips Curve Looks Like Japan”. This article points out the uncanny resemblance between Japan’s Phillips curve and the country’s geographic shape.[22]

See also


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c Chang, R. (1997) “Is Low Unemployment Inflationary?” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review 1Q97:4-13
  2. Jump up^ Friedman, Milton (1968). “The role of monetary policy”. American Economic Review. 68 (1): 1–17. JSTOR 1831652.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b Phelan, John (23 October 2012). “Milton Friedman and the rise and fall of the Phillips Curve”. thecommentator.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  4. Jump up^ “Phillips Curve: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics – Library of Economics and Liberty”.
  5. Jump up^ “Velocity of MZM Money Stock”. 22 December 2016.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b Oliver Hossfeld (2010) “US Money Demand, Monetary Overhang, and Inflation Prediction” International Network for Economic Research working paper no. 2010.4
  7. Jump up^ Phillips, A. W. (1958). “The Relationship between Unemployment and the Rate of Change of Money Wages in the United Kingdom 1861-1957”. Economica. 25 (100): 283–299. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0335.1958.tb00003.x.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b Samuelson, Paul A.; Solow, Robert M. (1960). “Analytical Aspects of Anti-Inflation Policy”. American Economic Review. 50 (2): 177–194. JSTOR 1815021.
  9. Jump up^ Fisher, Irving (1973). “I discovered the Phillips curve: ‘A statistical relation between unemployment and price changes'”. Journal of Political Economy. The University of Chicago Press. 81 (2): 496–502. doi:10.1086/260048. JSTOR 1830534. Reprinted from 1926 edition of International Labour Review.
  10. Jump up^ Forder, James (2014). Macroeconomics and the Phillips Curve Myth. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-968365-9.
  11. Jump up^ Domitrovic, Brain (10 October 2011). “The Economics Nobel Goes to Sargent & Sims: Attackers of the Phillips Curve”. Forbes.com. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  12. Jump up^ Akerlof, George A.; Dickens, William T.; Perry, George L. (2000). “Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve”. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. 2000 (1): 1–60.
  13. Jump up^ Jacob, Reed (2016). “AP Macroeconomics Review: Phillips Curve”. APEconReview.com.
  14. Jump up^ Blanchard, Olivier (2000). Macroeconomics (Second ed.). Prentice Hall. pp. 149–55. ISBN 0-13-013306-X.
  15. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Galí, Jordi; Gertler, Mark (1999). “The science of monetary policy: a New-Keynesian perspective”. Journal of Economic Literature. American Economic Association. 37 (4): 1661–1707. doi:10.1257/jel.37.4.1661. JSTOR 2565488.
  16. Jump up^ Blanchard, Olivier; Galí, Jordi (2007). “Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model”. Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. 39 (s1): 35–65. doi:10.1111/j.1538-4616.2007.00015.x.
  17. Jump up^ Roberts, John M. (1995). “New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve”. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. 27 (4): 975–984. JSTOR 2077783.
  18. Jump up^ Clarida, Richard; Galí, Jordi; Gertler, Mark (2000). “Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory”. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 115 (1): 147–180. doi:10.1162/003355300554692.
  19. Jump up^ Romer, David (2012). “Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models of Fluctuation”. Advanced Macroeconomics. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. pp. 312–364. ISBN 978-0-07-351137-5.
  20. Jump up^ Forder, James (2010). “The historical place of the ‘Friedman-Phelps’ expectations critique”. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought. 17 (3): 493–511. doi:10.1080/09672560903114875.
  21. Jump up^ Galbács, Peter (2015). The Theory of New Classical Macroeconomics. A Positive Critique. Heidelberg/New York/Dordrecht/London: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-17578-2. ISBN 978-3-319-17578-2.
  22. Jump up^ Smith, Gregor W. (1 September 2008). “Japan’s Phillips Curve Looks Like Japan”. 40 (6): 1325–1326. doi:10.1111/j.1538-4616.2008.00160.x – via Wiley Online Library.

Further reading

External links


Milton Friedman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Milton friedman)
Milton Friedman
Portrait of Milton Friedman.jpg

Friedman in 2004
Born July 31, 1912
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died November 16, 2006 (aged 94)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Rose Friedman
School or
Chicago School
Alma mater
Simon Kuznets
Phillip Cagan
Harry Markowitz
Lester G. Telser[1]
David I. Meiselman
Neil Wallace
Miguel Sidrauski
Information at IDEAS / RePEc
Milton friedman signature.svg

Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy.[4] With George Stigler and others, Friedman was among the intellectual leaders of the second generation of Chicago price theory, a methodological movement at the University of Chicago’s Department of Economics, Law School, and Graduate School of Business from the 1940s onward. Several students and young professors that were recruited or mentored by Friedman at Chicago went on to become leading economists; they include Gary Becker, Robert Fogel, Thomas Sowell,[5] and Robert Lucas, Jr.[6]

Friedman’s challenges to what he later called “naive Keynesian” theory[7] began with his 1950s reinterpretation of the consumption function. In the 1960s, he became the main advocate opposing Keynesian government policies,[8] and described his approach (along with mainstream economics) as using “Keynesian language and apparatus” yet rejecting its “initial” conclusions.[9] He theorized that there existed a “natural” rate of unemployment, and argued that employment above this rate would cause inflation to accelerate.[10] He argued that the Phillips curve was, in the long run, vertical at the “natural rate” and predicted what would come to be known as stagflation.[11] Friedman promoted an alternative macroeconomic viewpoint known as “monetarism“, and argued that a steady, small expansion of the money supply was the preferred policy.[12] His ideas concerning monetary policy, taxation, privatization and deregulation influenced government policies, especially during the 1980s. His monetary theory influenced the Federal Reserve’s response to the global financial crisis of 2007–08.[13]

Friedman was an advisor to Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan[14] and Conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.[15] His political philosophy extolled the virtues of a free market economic system with minimal intervention. He once stated that his role in eliminating U.S. conscription was his proudest accomplishment. In his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman advocated policies such as a volunteer military, freely floating exchange rates, abolition of medical licenses, a negative income tax, and school vouchers.[16] His support for school choice led him to found the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, later renamed EdChoice.[17]

Milton Friedman’s works include many monographs, books, scholarly articles, papers, magazine columns, television programs, and lectures, and cover a broad range of economic topics and public policy issues. His books and essays have had an international influence, including in former communist states.[18][19][20][21] A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second-most popular economist of the twentieth century after John Maynard Keynes,[22] and The Economist described him as “the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century … possibly of all of it”.[23]



Early life

Friedman was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 31, 1912. His parents, Sára Ethel (née Landau) and Jenő Saul Friedman,[24] were Jewish immigrants from Beregszász in Carpathian Ruthenia, Kingdom of Hungary (now Berehove in Ukraine). They both worked as dry goods merchants. Shortly after Milton’s birth, the family relocated to Rahway, New Jersey. In his early teens, Friedman was injured in a car accident, which scarred his upper lip.[25] A talented student, Friedman graduated from Rahway High School in 1928, just before his 16th birthday.[26][27]

In 1932, Friedman graduated from Rutgers University, where he specialized in mathematics and economics and initially intended to become an actuary. During his time at Rutgers, Friedman became influenced by two economics professors, Arthur F. Burns and Homer Jones, who convinced him that modern economics could help end the Great Depression.

After graduating from Rutgers, Friedman was offered two scholarships to do graduate work—one in mathematics at Brown University and the other in economics at the University of Chicago.[28] Friedman chose the latter, thus earning a Master of Arts degree in 1933. He was strongly influenced by Jacob Viner, Frank Knight, and Henry Simons. It was at Chicago that Friedman met his future wife, economist Rose Director. During the 1933–1934 academic year he had a fellowship at Columbia University, where he studied statistics with renowned statistician and economist Harold Hotelling. He was back in Chicago for the 1934–1935 academic year, working as a research assistant for Henry Schultz, who was then working on Theory and Measurement of Demand. That year, Friedman formed what would prove to be lifelong friendships with George Stigler and W. Allen Wallis.[29]

Public service

Friedman was initially unable to find academic employment, so in 1935 he followed his friend W. Allen Wallis to Washington, where Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s New Deal was “a lifesaver” for many young economists.[30] At this stage, Friedman said that he and his wife “regarded the job-creation programs such as the WPA, CCC, and PWA appropriate responses to the critical situation,” but not “the price- and wage-fixing measures of the National Recovery Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.”[31] Foreshadowing his later ideas, he believed price controls interfered with an essential signaling mechanism to help resources be used where they were most valued. Indeed, Friedman later concluded that all government intervention associated with the New Deal was “the wrong cure for the wrong disease,” arguing that the money supply should simply have been expanded, instead of contracted.[32] Later, Friedman and his colleague Anna Schwartz wrote A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960, which argued that the Great Depression was caused by a severe monetary contraction due to banking crises and poor policy on the part of the Federal Reserve.[33]

During 1935, he began work for the National Resources Committee, which was then working on a large consumer budget survey. Ideas from this project later became a part of his Theory of the Consumption Function. Friedman began employment with the National Bureau of Economic Research during autumn 1937 to assist Simon Kuznets in his work on professional income. This work resulted in their jointly authored publication Incomes from Independent Professional Practice, which introduced the concepts of permanent and transitory income, a major component of the Permanent Income Hypothesis that Friedman worked out in greater detail in the 1950s. The book hypothesizes that professional licensing artificially restricts the supply of services and raises prices.

During 1940, Friedman was appointed an assistant professor teaching Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, but encountered antisemitism in the Economics department and decided to return to government service.[34][35] From 1941 to 1943 Friedman worked on wartime tax policy for the Federal Government, as an advisor to senior officials of the United States Department of the Treasury. As a Treasury spokesman during 1942 he advocated a Keynesian policy of taxation. He helped to invent the payroll withholding tax system, since the federal government badly needed money in order to fight the war.[36] He later said, “I have no apologies for it, but I really wish we hadn’t found it necessary and I wish there were some way of abolishing withholding now.”[37]

Academic career

Early years

In 1940, Friedman accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, but left because of differences with faculty regarding United States involvement in World War II. Friedman believed the United States should enter the war.[38] In 1943, Friedman joined the Division of War Research at Columbia University (headed by W. Allen Wallis and Harold Hotelling), where he spent the rest of World War II working as a mathematical statistician, focusing on problems of weapons design, military tactics, and metallurgical experiments.[38][39]

In 1945, Friedman submitted Incomes from Independent Professional Practice (co-authored with Kuznets and completed during 1940) to Columbia as his doctoral dissertation. The university awarded him a PhD in 1946. Friedman spent the 1945–1946 academic year teaching at the University of Minnesota (where his friend George Stigler was employed). On February 12, 1945, his son, David D. Friedman was born.

University of Chicago

In 1946, Friedman accepted an offer to teach economic theory at the University of Chicago (a position opened by departure of his former professor Jacob Viner to Princeton University). Friedman would work for the University of Chicago for the next 30 years. There he contributed to the establishment of an intellectual community that produced a number of Nobel Prize winners, known collectively as the Chicago school of economics.

At that time, Arthur F. Burns, who was then the head of the National Bureau of Economic Research, asked Friedman to rejoin the Bureau’s staff. He accepted the invitation, and assumed responsibility for the Bureau’s inquiry into the role of money in the business cycle. As a result, he initiated the “Workshop in Money and Banking” (the “Chicago Workshop”), which promoted a revival of monetary studies. During the latter half of the 1940s, Friedman began a collaboration with Anna Schwartz, an economic historian at the Bureau, that would ultimately result in the 1963 publication of a book co-authored by Friedman and Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960.

Friedman spent the 1954–1955 academic year as a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. At the time, the Cambridge economics faculty was divided into a Keynesian majority (including Joan Robinson and Richard Kahn) and an anti-Keynesian minority (headed by Dennis Robertson). Friedman speculated that he was invited to the fellowship, because his views were unacceptable to both of the Cambridge factions. Later his weekly columns for Newsweek magazine (1966–84) were well read and increasingly influential among political and business people.[40] From 1968 to 1978, he and Paul Samuelson participated in the Economics Cassette Series, a biweekly subscription series where the economist would discuss the days’ issues for about a half-hour at a time.[41][42]

Friedman was an economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater during 1964.

Personal life


In 1977, at the age of 65, Friedman retired from the University of Chicago after teaching there for 30 years. He and his wife moved to San Francisco where he became a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. From 1977 on, he was affiliated with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. During the same year, Friedman was approached by the Free To Choose Network and asked to create a television program presenting his economic and social philosophy.

The Friedmans worked on this project for the next three years, and during 1980, the ten-part series, titled Free to Choose, was broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The companion book to the series (co-authored by Milton and his wife, Rose Friedman), also titled Free To Choose, was the bestselling nonfiction book of 1980 and has since been translated into 14 foreign languages.

Friedman served as an unofficial adviser to Ronald Reagan during his 1980 presidential campaign, and then served on the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for the rest of the Reagan Administration. Ebenstein says Friedman was “the ‘guru’ of the Reagan administration.”[43] In 1988 he received the National Medal of Science and Reagan honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Milton Friedman is known now as one of the most influential economists of the 20th century.[44][45] Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Friedman continued to write editorials and appear on television. He made several visits to Eastern Europe and to China, where he also advised governments. He was also for many years a Trustee of the Philadelphia Society.[46][47][48]

Later life

According to a 2007 article in Commentary magazine, his “parents were moderately observant [Jews], but Friedman, after an intense burst of childhood piety, rejected religion altogether.”[49] He described himself as an agnostic.[50] Friedman wrote extensively of his life and experiences, especially in 1998 in his memoirs with his wife Rose, titled Two Lucky People.


Friedman died of heart failure at the age of 94 years in San Francisco on November 16, 2006.[51] He was still a working economist performing original economic research; his last column was published in The Wall Street Journal the day after his death.[52] He was survived by his wife (who died on August 18, 2009) and their two children, David, known for the anarcho-capitalist book The Machinery of Freedom, and Janet.

Scholarly contributions


Friedman was best known for reviving interest in the money supply as a determinant of the nominal value of output, that is, the quantity theory of money. Monetarism is the set of views associated with modern quantity theory. Its origins can be traced back to the 16th-century School of Salamanca or even further; however, Friedman’s contribution is largely responsible for its modern popularization. He co-authored, with Anna Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960 (1963), which was an examination of the role of the money supply and economic activity in the U.S. history. A striking conclusion of their research regarded the way in which money supply fluctuations contribute to economic fluctuations. Several regression studies with David Meiselman during the 1960s suggested the primacy of the money supply over investment and government spending in determining consumption and output. These challenged a prevailing, but largely untested, view on their relative importance. Friedman’s empirical research and some theory supported the conclusion that the short-run effect of a change of the money supply was primarily on output but that the longer-run effect was primarily on the price level.

Friedman was the main proponent of the monetarist school of economics. He maintained that there is a close and stable association between inflation and the money supply, mainly that inflation could be avoided with proper regulation of the monetary base’s growth rate. He famously used the analogy of “dropping money out of a helicopter.”,[53] in order to avoid dealing with money injection mechanisms and other factors that would overcomplicate his models.

Friedman’s arguments were designed to counter the popular concept of cost-push inflation, that the increased general price level at the time was the result of increases in the price of oil, or increases in wages; as he wrote,

Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.

— Milton Friedman, 1963.[54]

Friedman rejected the use of fiscal policy as a tool of demand management; and he held that the government’s role in the guidance of the economy should be restricted severely. Friedman wrote extensively on the Great Depression, which he termed the Great Contraction, arguing that it had been caused by an ordinary financial shock whose duration and seriousness were greatly increased by the subsequent contraction of the money supply caused by the misguided policies of the directors of the Federal Reserve.

The Fed was largely responsible for converting what might have been a garden-variety recession, although perhaps a fairly severe one, into a major catastrophe. Instead of using its powers to offset the depression, it presided over a decline in the quantity of money by one-third from 1929 to 1933 … Far from the depression being a failure of the free-enterprise system, it was a tragic failure of government.

— Milton Friedman, Two Lucky People, 233[55]

Friedman also argued for the cessation of government intervention in currency markets, thereby spawning an enormous literature on the subject, as well as promoting the practice of freely floating exchange rates. His close friend George Stigler explained, “As is customary in science, he did not win a full victory, in part because research was directed along different lines by the theory of rational expectations, a newer approach developed by Robert Lucas, also at the University of Chicago.”[56] The relationship between Friedman and Lucas, or new classical macroeconomics as a whole, was highly complex. The Friedmanian Phillips curve was an interesting starting point for Lucas, but he soon realized that the solution provided by Friedman was not quite satisfactory. Lucas elaborated a new approach in which rational expectations were presumed instead of the Friedmanian adaptive expectations. Due to this reformulation, the story in which the theory of the new classical Phillips curve was embedded radically changed. This modification, however, had a significant effect on Friedman’s own approach, so, as a result, the theory of the Friedmanian Phillips curve also changed.[57] Moreover, new classical Neil Wallace, who was a graduate student at the University of Chicago between 1960 and 1963, regarded Friedman’s theoretical courses as a mess.[58] This evaluation clearly indicates the broken relationship between Friedmanian monetarism and new classical macroeconomics.

Friedman was also known for his work on the consumption function, the permanent income hypothesis (1957), which Friedman himself referred to as his best scientific work.[59] This work contended that rational consumers would spend a proportional amount of what they perceived to be their permanent income. Windfall gains would mostly be saved. Tax reductions likewise, as rational consumers would predict that taxes would have to increase later to balance public finances. Other important contributions include his critique of the Phillips curve and the concept of the natural rate of unemployment (1968). This critique associated his name, together with that of Edmund Phelps, with the insight that a government that brings about greater inflation cannot permanently reduce unemployment by doing so. Unemployment may be temporarily lower, if the inflation is a surprise, but in the long run unemployment will be determined by the frictions and imperfections of the labor market.

Friedman’s essay “The Methodology of Positive Economics” (1953) provided the epistemological pattern for his own subsequent research and to a degree that of the Chicago School. There he argued that economics as science should be free of value judgments for it to be objective. Moreover, a useful economic theory should be judged not by its descriptive realism but by its simplicity and fruitfulness as an engine of prediction. That is, students should measure the accuracy of its predictions, rather than the ‘soundness of its assumptions’. His argument was part of an ongoing debate among such statisticians as Jerzy Neyman, Leonard Savage, and Ronald Fisher.[60]


One of his most famous contributions to statistics is sequential sampling. Friedman did statistical work at the Division of War Research at Columbia, where he and his colleagues came up with the technique. It later became, in the words of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, “the standard analysis of quality control inspection”. The dictionary adds, “Like many of Friedman’s contributions, in retrospect it seems remarkably simple and obvious to apply basic economic ideas to quality control; that however is a measure of his genius.”[61]

Public policy positions

Federal Reserve

Due to its poor performance,[62] Friedman believed that the Federal Reserve Board should be abolished.[63][64] Friedman was deeply critical about Federal Reserve policies, even during the so-called ‘Volcker shock’ that was labelled ‘monetarist.’[65] He further believed that if the money supply was to be centrally controlled (as by the Federal Reserve System) that the preferable way to do it would be with a mechanical system that would keep the quantity of money increasing at a steady rate.

Exchange rates

Friedman was a strong advocate for floating exchange rates throughout the entire Bretton-Woods period. He argued that a flexible exchange rate would make external adjustment possible and allow countries to avoid Balance of Payments crises. He saw fixed exchange rates as an undesirable form of government intervention. The case was articulated in an influential 1953 paper, “The Case for Flexible Exchange Rates”, at a time, when most commentators regarded the possibility of floating exchange rates as a fantasy.[66][67]

School choice

In his 1955 article “The Role of Government in Education”[68] Friedman proposed supplementing publicly operated schools with privately run but publicly funded schools through a system of school vouchers.[69] Reforms similar to those proposed in the article were implemented in, for example, Chile in 1981 and Sweden in 1992.[70] In 1996, Friedman, together with his wife, founded the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice to advocate school choice and vouchers. In 2016, the Friedman Foundation changed its name to EdChoice to honor the Friedmans’ desire to have the educational choice movement live on without their names attached to it after their deaths.[17]


While Walter Oi is credited with establishing the economic basis for a volunteer military, Milton Friedman was a proponent, stating that the draft was “inconsistent with a free society.”[71][72] In Capitalism and Freedom, he argued that conscription is inequitable and arbitrary, preventing young men from shaping their lives as they see fit.[73] During the Nixon administration he headed the committee to research a conversion to paid/volunteer armed force. He would later state that his role in eliminating the conscription in the United States was his proudest accomplishment.[12] Friedman did, however, believe a nation could compel military training as a reserve in case of war time.[73]

Foreign policy

Biographer Lanny Ebenstein noted a drift over time in Friedman’s views from an interventionist to a more cautious foreign policy.[74] He supported US involvement in the Second World War and initially supported a hard line against Communism, but moderated over time.[74] He opposed the Gulf War and the Iraq War.[74] In a spring 2006 interview, Friedman said that the USA’s stature in the world had been eroded by the Iraq War, but that it might be improved if Iraq were to become a peaceful independent country.[75]

Libertarianism and the Republican Party

He served as a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board starting at 1981. In 1988, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science. He said that he was a libertarian philosophically, but a member of the U.S. Republican Party for the sake of “expediency” (“I am a libertarian with a small ‘l’ and a Republican with a capital ‘R.’ And I am a Republican with a capital ‘R’ on grounds of expediency, not on principle.”) But, he said, “I think the term classical liberal is also equally applicable. I don’t really care very much what I’m called. I’m much more interested in having people thinking about the ideas, rather than the person.”[76]

Public goods and monopoly

Friedman was supportive of the state provision of some public goods that private businesses are not considered as being able to provide. However, he argued that many of the services performed by government could be performed better by the private sector. Above all, if some public goods are provided by the state, he believed that they should not be a legal monopoly where private competition is prohibited; for example, he wrote:

There is no way to justify our present public monopoly of the post office. It may be argued that the carrying of mail is a technical monopoly and that a government monopoly is the least of evils. Along these lines, one could perhaps justify a government post office, but not the present law, which makes it illegal for anybody else to carry the mail. If the delivery of mail is a technical monopoly, no one else will be able to succeed in competition with the government. If it is not, there is no reason why the government should be engaged in it. The only way to find out is to leave other people free to enter.

— Milton Friedman, Friedman, Milton & Rose D. Capitalism and Freedom, University of Chicago Press, 1982, p. 29

Social security, welfare programs, and negative income tax

After 1960 Friedman attacked Social Security from a free market view stating that it had created welfare dependency.[77]

Friedman proposed that if there had to be a welfare system of any kind, he would replace the existing U.S. welfare system with a negative income tax, a progressive tax system in which the poor receive a basic living income from the government.[78] According to the New York Times, Friedman’s views in this regard were grounded in a belief that while “market forces … accomplish wonderful things”, they “cannot ensure a distribution of income that enables all citizens to meet basic economic needs”.[78]

Drug policy

Friedman also supported libertarian policies such as legalization of drugs and prostitution. During 2005, Friedman and more than 500 other economists advocated discussions regarding the economic benefits of the legalization of marijuana.[79]

Gay rights

Friedman was also a supporter of gay rights.[80][81] He never specifically supported same-sex marriage, instead saying “I do not believe there should be any discrimination against gays.”[81]

Economic freedom

Michael Walker of the Fraser Institute and Friedman hosted a series of conferences from 1986 to 1994. The goal was to create a clear definition of economic freedom and a method for measuring it. Eventually this resulted in the first report on worldwide economic freedom, Economic Freedom in the World.[82] This annual report has since provided data for numerous peer-reviewed studies and has influenced policy in several nations.

Along with sixteen other distinguished economists he opposed the Copyright Term Extension Act and filed an amicus brief in Eldred v. Ashcroft.[83] He supported the inclusion of the word “no-brainer” in the brief.[84]

Friedman argued for stronger basic legal (constitutional) protection of economic rights and freedoms to further promote industrial-commercial growth and prosperity and buttress democracy and freedom and the rule of law generally in society.[85]

Honors, recognition, and influence

George H. Nash, a leading historian of American conservatism, says that by, “the end of the 1960s he was probably the most highly regarded and influential conservative scholar in the country, and one of the few with an international reputation.”[86] Friedman allowed the libertarian Cato Institute to use his name for its biannual Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty beginning in 2001. A Friedman Prize was given to the late British economist Peter Bauer in 2002, Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto in 2004, Mart Laar, former Estonian Prime Minister in 2006 and a young Venezuelan student Yon Goicoechea in 2008. His wife Rose, sister of Aaron Director, with whom he initiated the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, served on the international selection committee.[87][88] Friedman was also a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Upon Friedman’s death, Harvard President Lawrence Summers called him “The Great Liberator” saying “… any honest Democrat will admit that we are now all Friedmanites.” He said Friedman’s great popular contribution was “in convincing people of the importance of allowing free markets to operate.”[89]

In 2013 Stephen Moore, a member of the editorial forward of the Wall Street Journal said, “Quoting the most-revered champion of free-market economics since Adam Smith has become a little like quoting the Bible.” He adds, “There are sometimes multiple and conflicting interpretations.”[90]

Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

Friedman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, the sole recipient for 1976, “for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy.”[4]

Hong Kong

Friedman once said, “If you want to see capitalism in action, go to Hong Kong.”[91] He wrote in 1990 that the Hong Kong economy was perhaps the best example of a free market economy.[92]

One month before his death, he wrote the article “Hong Kong Wrong – What would Cowperthwaite say?” in the Wall Street Journal, criticizing Donald Tsang, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, for abandoning “positive noninterventionism.”[93] Tsang later said he was merely changing the slogan to “big market, small government,” where small government is defined as less than 20% of GDP. In a debate between Tsang and his rival, Alan Leong, before the 2007 Chief Executive election, Leong introduced the topic and jokingly accused Tsang of angering Friedman to death.


Main articles: Miracle of Chile and Chicago Boys

During 1975, two years after the military coup that brought military dictator President Augusto Pinochet to power and ended the government of Salvador Allende, the economy of Chile experienced a severe crisis. Friedman and Arnold Harberger accepted an invitation of a private Chilean foundation to visit Chile and speak on principles of economic freedom.[94] He spent seven days in Chile giving a series of lectures at the Universidad Católica de Chile and the (National) University of Chile. One of the lectures was entitled “The Fragility of Freedom” and according to Friedman, “dealt with precisely the threat to freedom from a centralized military government.”[95]

In an April 21, 1975, letter to Pinochet, Friedman considered the “key economic problems of Chile are clearly … inflation and the promotion of a healthy social market economy“.[96] He stated that “There is only one way to end inflation: by drastically reducing the rate of increase of the quantity of money …” and that “… cutting government spending is by far and away the most desirable way to reduce the fiscal deficit, because it … strengthens the private sector thereby laying the foundations for healthy economic growth”.[96] As to how rapidly inflation should be ended, Friedman felt that “for Chile where inflation is raging at 10–20% a month … gradualism is not feasible. It would involve so painful an operation over so long a period that the patient would not survive.” Choosing “a brief period of higher unemployment…” was the lesser evil.. and that “the experience of Germany, … of Brazil …, of the post-war adjustment in the U.S. … all argue for shock treatment“. In the letter Friedman recommended to deliver the shock approach with “… a package to eliminate the surprise and to relieve acute distress” and “… for definiteness let me sketch the contents of a package proposal … to be taken as illustrative” although his knowledge of Chile was “too limited to enable [him] to be precise or comprehensive”. He listed a “sample proposal” of 8 monetary and fiscal measures including “the removal of as many as obstacles as possible that now hinder the private market. For example, suspend … the present law against discharging employees”. He closed, stating “Such a shock program could end inflation in months”. His letter suggested that cutting spending to reduce the fiscal deficit would result in less transitional unemployment than raising taxes.

Sergio de Castro, a Chilean Chicago School graduate, became the nation’s Minister of Finance in 1975. During his six-year tenure, foreign investment increased, restrictions were placed on striking and labor unions, and GDP rose yearly.[97] A foreign exchange program was created between the Catholic University of Chile and the University of Chicago. Many other Chicago School alumni were appointed government posts during and after the Pinochet years; others taught its economic doctrine at Chilean universities. They became known as the Chicago Boys.[98]

Friedman did not criticize Pinochet’s dictatorship at the time, nor the assassinations, illegal imprisonments, torture, or other atrocities that were well known by then.[99] In 1976 Friedman defended his unofficial adviser position with: “I do not consider it as evil for an economist to render technical economic advice to the Chilean Government, any more than I would regard it as evil for a physician to give technical medical advice to the Chilean Government to help end a medical plague.”[100]

Friedman defended his activity in Chile on the grounds that, in his opinion, the adoption of free market policies not only improved the economic situation of Chile but also contributed to the amelioration of Pinochet’s rule and to the eventual transition to a democratic government during 1990. That idea is included in Capitalism and Freedom, in which he declared that economic freedom is not only desirable in itself but is also a necessary condition for political freedom. In his 1980 documentary Free to Choose, he said the following: “Chile is not a politically free system, and I do not condone the system. But the people there are freer than the people in Communist societies because government plays a smaller role. … The conditions of the people in the past few years has been getting better and not worse. They would be still better to get rid of the junta and to be able to have a free democratic system.”[101][102] In 1984, Friedman stated that he has “never refrained from criticizing the political system in Chile.”[95] In 1991 he said: “I have nothing good to say about the political regime that Pinochet imposed. It was a terrible political regime. The real miracle of Chile is not how well it has done economically; the real miracle of Chile is that a military junta was willing to go against its principles and support a free market regime designed by principled believers in a free market. […] In Chile, the drive for political freedom, that was generated by economic freedom and the resulting economic success, ultimately resulted in a referendum that introduced political democracy. Now, at long last, Chile has all three things: political freedom, human freedom and economic freedom. Chile will continue to be an interesting experiment to watch to see whether it can keep all three or whether, now that it has political freedom,that political freedom will tend to be used to destroy or reduce economic freedom.”[103] He stressed that the lectures he gave in Chile were the same lectures he later gave in China and other socialist states.[104]

During the 2000 PBS documentary The Commanding Heights (based on the book), Friedman continued to argue that “free markets would undermine [Pinochet’s] political centralization and political control.”,[105][106] and that criticism over his role in Chile missed his main contention that freer markets resulted in freer people, and that Chile’s unfree economy had caused the military government. Friedman advocated for free markets which undermined “political centralization and political control”.[107]


Friedman visited Iceland during the autumn of 1984, met with important Icelanders and gave a lecture at the University of Iceland on the “tyranny of the status quo.” He participated in a lively television debate on August 31, 1984 with socialist intellectuals, including Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who later became the president of Iceland.[108] When they complained that a fee was charged for attending his lecture at the University and that, hitherto, lectures by visiting scholars had been free-of-charge, Friedman replied that previous lectures had not been free-of-charge in a meaningful sense: lectures always have related costs. What mattered was whether attendees or non-attendees covered those costs. Friedman thought that it was fairer that only those who attended paid. In this discussion Friedman also stated that he did not receive any money for delivering that lecture.


Although Friedman never visited Estonia, his book Free to Choose exercised a great influence on that nation’s then 32-year-old prime minister, Mart Laar, who has claimed that it was the only book on economics he had read before taking office. Laar’s reforms are often credited with responsibility for transforming Estonia from an impoverished Soviet Republic to the “Baltic Tiger.” A prime element of Laar’s program was introduction of the flat tax. Laar won the 2006 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, awarded by the Cato Institute.[109]

United Kingdom

After 1950 Friedman was frequently invited to lecture in Britain, and by the 1970s his ideas had gained widespread attention in conservative circles. For example, he was a regular speaker at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a libertarian think tank. Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher closely followed IEA programs and ideas, and met Friedman there in 1978. He also strongly influenced Keith Joseph, who became Thatcher’s senior advisor on economic affairs, as well as Alan Walters and Patrick Minford, two other key advisers. Major newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, The Times, and The Financial Times all promulgated Friedman’s monetarist ideas to British decision-makers. Friedman’s ideas strongly influenced Thatcher and her allies when she became Prime Minister in 1979.[110][111]


Econometrician David Hendry criticized part of Friedman’s and Anna Schwartz’s 1982 Monetary Trends.[112] When asked about it during an interview with Icelandic TV in 1984,[113] Friedman said that the criticism referred to a different problem from that which he and Schwartz had tackled, and hence was irrelevant,[114] and pointed out the lack of consequential peer review amongst econometricians on Hendry’s work.[115] In 2006, Hendry said that Friedman was guilty of “serious errors” of misunderstanding that meant “the t-ratios he reported for UK money demand were overstated by nearly 100 per cent”, and said that, in a paper published in 1991 with Neil Ericsson,[116] he had refuted “almost every empirical claim […] made about UK money demand” by Friedman and Schwartz.[117] A 2004 paper updated and confirmed the validity of the Hendry–Ericsson findings through 2000.[118]

Although Keynesian Nobel laureate Paul Krugman praised Friedman as a “great economist and a great man” after Friedman’s death in 2006, and acknowledged his many, widely accepted contributions to empirical economics, Krugman had been, and remains, a prominent critic of Friedman. Krugman has written that “he slipped all too easily into claiming both that markets always work and that only markets work. It’s extremely hard to find cases in which Friedman acknowledged the possibility that markets could go wrong, or that government intervention could serve a useful purpose.”[119]

In her book The Shock Doctrine, author and social activist Naomi Klein criticized Friedman’s economic liberalism, identifying it with the principles that guided the economic restructuring that followed the military coups in countries such as Chile and Indonesia. Based on their assessments of the extent to which what she describes as neoliberal policies contributed to income disparities and inequality, both Klein and Noam Chomsky have suggested that the primary role of what they describe as neoliberalism was as an ideological cover for capital accumulation by multinational corporations.[120]

Visit to Chile

Because of his involvement with the Pinochet government, there were international protests when Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1976.[121] Friedman was accused of supporting the military dictatorship in Chile because of the relation of economists of the University of Chicago to Pinochet, and a controversial six-day trip[122] he took to Chile during March 1975 (less than two years after the coup that deposed President Salvador Allende). Friedman answered that he never was an adviser to the dictatorship, but only gave some lectures and seminars on inflation, and met with officials, including Augusto Pinochet, while in Chile.[123]

Chilean economist Orlando Letelier asserted that Pinochet’s dictatorship resorted to oppression because of popular opposition to Chicago School policies in Chile.[124] After a 1991 speech on drug legalisation, Friedman answered a question on his involvement with the Pinochet regime, saying that he was never an advisor to Pinochet (also mentioned in his 1984 Iceland interview[95]), but that a group of his students at the University of Chicago were involved in Chile’s economic reforms. Friedman credited these reforms with high levels of economic growth and with the establishment of democracy that has subsequently occurred in Chile.[125][126] In October 1988, after returning from a lecture tour of China during which he had met with Zhao Ziyang, Friedman wrote to The Stanford Daily asking if he should anticipate a similar “avalanche of protests for having been willing to give advice to so evil a government? And if not, why not?”[127]

Capitalism and Freedom

Capitalism and Freedom is a seminal work by Friedman. In the book, Friedman talks about the need to move to a classically liberal society, that free markets would help nations and individuals in the long-run and fix the efficiency problems currently faced by the United States and other major countries of the 1950s and 1960s. He goes through the chapters specifying a specific issue in each respective chapter from the role of government and money supply to social welfare programs to a special chapter on occupational licensure. Friedman concludes Capitalism and Freedom with his “classical liberal” stance, that government should stay out of matters that do not need and should only involve itself when absolutely necessary for the survival of its people and the country. He recounts how the best of a country’s abilities come from its free markets while its failures come from government intervention.[77]

Selected bibliography

  • A Theory of the Consumption Function (1957)
  • A Program for Monetary Stability (Fordham University Press, 1960) 110 pp. online version
  • Capitalism and Freedom (1962), highly influential series of essays that established Friedman’s position on major issues of public policy excerpts
  • A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960, with Anna J. Schwartz, 1963; part 3 reprinted as The Great Contraction
  • “The Role of Monetary Policy.” American Economic Review, Vol. 58, No. 1 (Mar., 1968), pp. 1–17 JSTOR presidential address to American Economics Association
  • “Inflation and Unemployment: Nobel lecture”, 1977, Journal of Political Economy. Vol. 85, pp. 451–72. JSTOR
  • Free to Choose: A personal statement, with Rose Friedman, (1980), highly influential restatement of policy views
  • The Essence of Friedman, essays edited by Kurt R. Leube, (1987) (ISBN 0-8179-8662-6)
  • Two Lucky People: Memoirs (with Rose Friedman) ISBN 0-226-26414-9 (1998) excerpt and text search
  • Milton Friedman on Economics: Selected Papers by Milton Friedman, edited by Gary S. Becker (2008)
  • An Interview with Milton Friedman, John B. Taylor (2001). Macroeconomic Dynamics, 5, pp 101–31

See also


  1. Jump up^ Ebenstein, Lanny (2007). Milton Friedman: A Biography. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 89.
  2. Jump up^ Charles Moore (2013). Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One: Not For Turning. Penguin. pp. 576–77.
  3. Jump up^ Lanny Ebenstein (2007). Milton Friedman: A Biography. St. Martin’s Press. p. 208.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Milton Friedman on nobelprize.org”. Nobel Prize. 1976. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  5. Jump up^ Thomas Sowell (2016-09-16). A Personal Odyssey. Free Press. p. 320. ISBN 0743215087.
  6. Jump up^ The Chicago School: How the University of Chicago Assembled the Thinkers Who Revolutionized Economics and Business
  7. Jump up^ “Milton Friedman”. Commanding Heights. PBS. October 1, 2000. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  8. Jump up^ Milton Friedman—Economist as Public Intellectual
  9. Jump up^ Mark Skousen (2009-02-28). The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers. M.E. Sharpe. p. 407. ISBN 0-7656-2227-0.
  10. Jump up^ Among macroeconomists, the “natural” rate has been increasingly replaced by James Tobin‘s NAIRU, the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, which is seen as having fewer normative connotations.
  11. Jump up^ Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman stated that, “In 1968 in one of the decisive intellectual achievements of postwar economics, Friedman not only showed why the apparent tradeoff embodied in the idea of the Phillips curve was wrong; he also predicted the emergence of combined inflation and high unemployment … dubbed ‘stagflation.” Paul Krugman, Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations (1995) p. 43 online
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Doherty, Brian (June 1, 1995). “Best of Both Worlds”. Reason Magazine. Retrieved October 24, 2009
  13. Jump up^ Edward Nelson, “Friedman’s Monetary Economics in Practice,” Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board, April 13, 2011. Nelson stated, “in important respects, the overall monetary and financial policy response to the crisis can be viewed as Friedman’s monetary economics in practice.” and “Friedman’s recommendations for responding to a financial crisis largely lined up with the principal financial and monetary policy measures taken since 2007.” Nelson, “Review,” in Journal of Economic Literature (Dec, 2012) 50#4 pp. 1106–09
  14. Jump up^ Lanny Ebenstein (2007). Milton Friedman: A Biography. St. Martin’s Press. p. 208.
  15. Jump up^ Charles Moore (2013). Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume One: Not For Turning. Penguin. pp. 576–77.
  16. Jump up^ Milton Friedman (1912–2006)
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  18. Jump up^ “Capitalism and Friedman” (editorial), The Wall Street Journal November 17, 2006
  19. Jump up^ Václav Klaus (January 29, 2007). “Remarks at Milton Friedman Memorial Service”. Retrieved August 22, 2008.
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  21. Jump up^ Friedman 1999, p. 506
  22. Jump up^ Davis, William L, Bob Figgins, David Hedengren, and Daniel B. Klein. “Economic Professors’ Favorite Economic Thinkers, Journals, and Blogs”, Econ Journal Watch 8(2): 126–46, May 2011.
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  57. Jump up^ Galbács, Peter (2015). The Theory of New Classical Macroeconomics. A Positive Critique. Heidelberg/New York/Dordrecht/London: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-17578-2. ISBN 978-3-319-17578-2.
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  63. Jump up^ “My first preference would be to abolish the Federal Reserve” on YouTube
  64. Jump up^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6fkdagNrjI “I have long been in favor of abolishing it.”
  65. Jump up^ Reichart Alexandre & Abdelkader Slifi (2016). ‘The Influence of Monetarism on Federal Reserve Policy during the 1980s.’ Cahiers d’économie Politique/Papers in Political Economy, (1), pp. 107–50. https://www.cairn.info/revue-cahiers-d-economie-politique-2016-1-page-107.htm
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  72. Jump up^ Rostker, Bernard (2006). I Want You!: The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force. Rand Corporation. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-8330-3895-1.
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  89. Jump up^ Summers, Larry (November 19, 2006). “The Great Liberator”. The New York Times.
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  93. Jump up^ Friedman, Milton (October 6, 2006). “Dr. Milton Friedman”. Opinion Journal. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  94. Jump up^ Letter from Arnold Harberger to Stig Ramel as reprinted in the Wall Street Journal 12/10/1976, and in Two Lucky People: Memoirs By Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman. Appendix A, pp. 598–99. Accessible at books.google.com
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  96. ^ Jump up to:a b [http:// Two Lucky People: Memoirs By Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman. Appendix A, pp. 591–93. Letter from Friedman to Pinochet, April 21, 1975.]
  97. Jump up^ Mask II, William Ray (May 2013). The Great Chilean Recovery: Assigning Responsibility For The Chilean Miracle(s) (Thesis). California State University, Fresno.
  98. Jump up^ “Chile and the “Chicago Boys””. The Hoover Institution. Stanford University. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
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  100. Jump up^ Newsweek of June 14, 1976
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  102. Jump up^ Frances Fox Piven vs. Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, debate, 1980, YouTube.
  103. Jump up^ The Smith Center: Milton Friedman’s lecture, “Economic Freedom, Human Freedom, Political Freedom”, by Milton Friedman, delivered November 1, 1991.
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  105. Jump up^ “Interview with Jeffery Sachs on the “Miracle of Chile””. PBS. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  106. Jump up^ “Commanding Heights: Milton Friedman”. PBS. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  107. Jump up^ “Milton Friedman interview”. PBS. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  108. Jump up^ Friedman, Milton; Grímsson, Ólafur Ragnar. Milton Friedman on Icelandic State Television in 1984.
  109. Jump up^ “Mart Laar”. Cato Institute. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  110. Jump up^ John F. Lyons (2013). America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 102.
  111. Jump up^ Subroto Roy & John Clarke, eds., Margaret Thatcher’s Revolution: How it Happened and What it Meant (Continuum 2005)
  112. Jump up^ David F. Hendry; Neil R. Ericsson (October 1983). “Assertion without Empirical Basis: An Econometric Appraisal of ‘Monetary Trends in … the United Kingdom’ by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz,” in Monetary Trends in the United Kingdom, Bank of England Panel of Academic Consultants, Panel Paper No. 22, pp. 45–101.See also Federal Reserve International Finance Discussion Paper No. 270 (December 1985), which is a revised and shortened version of Hendry–Ericsson 1983.
  113. Jump up^ “M.Friedman – Iceland TV (1984)”. YouTube. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  114. Jump up^ van Steven Moore, CMA (1984-08-31). “Milton Friedman – Iceland 2 of 8”. YouTube. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  115. Jump up^ J. Daniel Hammond (2005). Theory and Measurement: Causality Issues in Milton Friedman’s Monetary Economics. Cambridge U.P. pp. 193–99.
  116. Jump up^ David F. Hendry; Neil R. Ericsson (July 1989). “An Econometric Analysis of UK Money Demand in Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom by Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz” (PDF). International Finance Discussion Papers: 355. Federal Reserve. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  117. Jump up^ Hendry, David F. (25 April 2013). “Friedman’s t-ratios were overstated by nearly 100%”. ft.com. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  118. Jump up^ Escribano, Alvaro (2004). “Nonlinear error correction: The case of money demand in the United Kingdom (1878–2000)” (PDF). Macroeconomic Dynamics. 8 (1): 76–116. doi:10.1017/S1365100503030013.
    Escribano’s approach had already been recognized by Friedman, Schwartz, Hendry et al. (p. 14 of the pdf) as yielding significant improvements over previous money demand equations.
  119. Jump up^ The New York Review of Books, Who Was Milton Friedman?, February 15, 2007
  120. Jump up^ Noam Chomsky (1999). Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press.
  121. Jump up^ Feldman, Burton (2000). “Chapter 9: The Economics Memorial Prize”. The Nobel Prize: A History of Genius, Controversy, and Prestige. New York: Arcade Publishing. p. 350. ISBN 1-55970-537-X.
  122. Jump up^ O’Shaughnessy, Hugh (11 December 2006). “General Augusto Pinochet”. The Independent.
  123. Jump up^ Friedman, Milton; Friedman, Rose D. “Two Lucky People: One Week in Stockholm”. Hoover Digest: Research and Opinion on Public Policy. 1998 (4).
  124. Jump up^ Orlando Letelier, “Economic Freedom’s Awful Toll”, The Nation, August 28, 1976.
  125. Jump up^ The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise, Milton Friedman, From: Friedman & Szasz on Liberty and Drugs, edited and with a Preface by Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese. Washington, D.C.: The Drug Policy Foundation, 1992.
  126. Jump up^ YouTube clip: Milton Friedman – Pinochet and Chile
  127. Jump up^ Friedman, Milton; Friedman, Rose D. Two Lucky People: Memoirs. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226264158. Retrieved 18 October 2016.


  • Bernanke, Ben (2004). Essays on the Great Depression. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-11820-5
  • Butler, Eamonn (2011). Milton Friedman. Harriman Economic Essentials.
  • Ebenstein, Alan O. (2007). Milton Friedman: a biography.
  • Friedman, Milton (1999). Two Lucky People: Memoirs. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-26415-7.
  • Wood, John Cunningham, and Ronald N. Wood, ed. (1990), Milton Friedman: Critical Assessments, v. 3. Scroll to chapter-preview links. Routledge.

Further reading

External links

Free to Choose (original series) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1Fj5tzuYBE


Robert Mundell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Mundell
Born October 24, 1932 (age 84)
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Institution Johns Hopkins University (1959–61, 1997–98, 2000–01)
University of Chicago (1965–72)
Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland (1965–75) [1]
University of Waterloo (1972–74)
McGill University (1989–1990)[2]
Columbia University (1974 – present)
Chinese University of Hong Kong (2009 – present)
Field Monetary economics
School or
Supply-side economics
Alma mater London School of Economics
UBC Vancouver School of Economics
University of Washington
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Waterloo
Charles Kindleberger[3]
Jacob A. Frenkel
Rudi Dornbusch[4]
Carmen Reinhart[5]
Influences Ludwig Von Mises
Influenced Arthur Laffer
Jude Wanniski
Michael Mussa
Contributions Mundell–Fleming model
Optimum currency areas
Research on the gold standard
Awards Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (1999)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Robert Alexander Mundell, CC (born October 24, 1932) is a Nobel Prize-winning Canadian economist. Currently, he is a professor of economics at Columbia University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1999 for his pioneering work in monetary dynamics and optimum currency areas. Mundell is known as the “father”[6] of the Euro, as he laid the groundwork for its introduction through this work and helped to start the movement known as supply-side economics. Mundell is also known for the Mundell–Fleming model and Mundell–Tobin effect.


Mundell was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He earned his BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and his MA at the University of Washington in Seattle. After studying at the University of British Columbia and at The London School of Economics in 1956,[7] he then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he obtained his PhD in Economics in 1956. In 2006 Mundell earned an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Waterloo in Canada.[8] He was Professor of Economics and Editor of the Journal of Political Economy at the University of Chicago from 1965 to 1972, Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Waterloo 1972 to 1974 and since 1974 he was Professor of Economics at Columbia University.[9] He also held the post of Repap Professor of Economics at McGill University.[10][11]


Since 1974 he has been a professor in the Economics department at Columbia University; since 2001 he has held Columbia’s highest academic rank – University Professor. After completing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in 1957, he began teaching economics at Stanford University, and then Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University during 1959–1961.[2] In 1961, he went on to staff the International Monetary Fund. Mundell returned to academics as professor of economics at the University of Chicago from 1966 to 1971, and then served as professor during summers at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva until 1975. In 1989, he was appointed to the post of Repap Professor of Economics at McGill University.,[10][11] In the 1970s, he laid the groundwork for the introduction of the euro through his pioneering work in monetary dynamics and optimum currency forms for which he won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Economics. During this time he continued to serve as an economic adviser to the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, the United States Department of Treasury and the governments of Canada and other countries. He is currently the Distinguished Professor-at-Large of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Among his major contributions are:


Mundell was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1971 and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1999. In 2002 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.

In 1992, Mundell received the Docteur Honoris Causa from the University of Paris. Mundell’s honorary professorships and fellowships were from Brookings Institution, the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California, McGill University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Bologna Center and Renmin University of China. He became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998. In June 2005 he was awarded the Global Economics Prize World Economics Institute in Kiel, Germany and in September 2005 he was made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce del Reale Ordine del Merito sotto il Titolo di San Ludovico by Principe Don Carlo Ugo di Borbone Parma.

The Mundell International University of Entrepreneurship in the Zhongguancun district of Beijing, People’s Republic of China is named in his honor.

International monetary flows

Mundell is best known in politics for his support of tax cuts and supply-side economics; however, in economics it is for his work on currency areas[12] and international exchange rates[13] that he was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel by the Bank of Sweden (Sveriges Riksbank). Nevertheless, supply-side economics featured prominently in his Bank of Sweden prize speech.

In the 1960s, Canada, of which Mundell is a native, floated its exchange: this caused Mundell to begin investigating the results of floating exchange rates, a phenomenon not widely seen since the 1930s “Stockholm School” successfully lobbied Sweden to leave the gold standard.

In 1962, along with Marcus Fleming, he co-authored the Mundell–Fleming model of exchange rates, and noted that it was impossible to have domestic autonomy, fixed exchange rates, and free capital flows: no more than two of those objectives could be met. The model is, in effect, an extension of the IS/LM model applied to currency rates.

According to Mundell’s analysis:

  • Discipline under the Bretton Woods system was more due to the US Federal Reserve than to the discipline of gold.
  • Demand side fiscal policy would be ineffective in restraining central banks under a floating exchange rate system.
  • Single currency zones relied, therefore, on similar levels of price stability, where a single monetary policy would suffice for all.

His analysis led to his conclusion that it was a disagreement between Europe and the United States over the rate of inflation, partially to finance the Vietnam War, and that Bretton Woods disintegrated because of the undervaluing of gold and the consequent monetary discipline breakdown. There is a famous point/counterpoint over this issue between Mundell and Milton Friedman.[14]

This work later led to the creation of the euro and his prediction that leaving the Bretton Woods system would lead to “stagflation” so long as highly progressive income tax rates applied. In 1974, he advocated a drastic tax reduction and a flattening of income tax rates.

Mundell, though lionized by some conservatives, has many of his harshest critics from the right: he denies the need for a fixed gold based currency or currency board[citation needed] (he still often recommends this as a policy in hyperinflationary environments) and he is both a fiscal and balance of payments deficit hawk. He is well known for stating that in a floating exchange rate system, expansion of the money supply can come about only by a positive balance of payments.

In 2000, he predicted that before 2010, the euro zone would expand to cover 50 countries, while the dollar would spread throughout Latin America, and much of Asia would look towards the yen.[15] Such predictions have proved highly inaccurate.

Nobel Prize winner

Mundell won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1999 and gave as his prize lecture a speech titled “A Reconsideration of the Twentieth Century”. According to the Nobel Prize Committee, he got the honor for “his analysis of monetary and fiscal policy under different exchange rate regimes and his analysis of optimum currency areas”.

Mundell concluded in that lecture that “the international monetary system depends only on the power configuration of the countries that make it up”. He divided the entire twentieth century into three parts by different periods of time:

  • The first third of the century, from its beginning to the Great Depression of the 1930s, economics was dominated by the confrontation of the Federal Reserve System with the gold standard.
  • The second third of the century was from World War II to 1973, when the international monetary system was dominated by fixing the price of gold with the US dollar.
  • The last third of the century started with the destruction of the old monetary system due to the problem of inflation.

With the destruction of the old monetary system, a new international monetary system was finally founded. Controlling inflation by each country became a main topic during this era.

Television appearances

Mundell has appeared on CBS‘s Late Show with David Letterman. His first appearance was on October 17, 2002[16] where he gave The Top 10 List on “Ways My Life has Changed Since Winning the Nobel Prize.” In March 2004[17] he told “You might be a redneck” jokes followed in May 2004[18] with “Yo Mama” jokes. In September 2004[19] he appeared again, this time to read excerpts from Paris Hilton‘s memoir at random moments throughout the show. In November 2005[20] he told a series of Rodney Dangerfield‘s jokes. On February 7, 2006[21] he read Grammy Award nominated song lyrics, the night before CBS aired the 48th Grammy Awards.

Mundell also appeared on Bloomberg Television many times.

Mundell has also appeared on China Central Television‘s popular Lecture Room series. Professor Mundell was also a special guest making the ceremonial first move in Game Five of the 2010 World Chess Championship between Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov.

Mundell started the Pearl Spring Chess Tournament, a double round robin tournament with six players. The first tournament in 2008 was won by the Bulgarian, Veselin Topalov. The next two: 2009–2010 was won by the Norwegian, Magnus Carlsen.

See also


  1. Jump up^ http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/1999/mundell-bio.html
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Nobel Prize Winners from Johns Hopkins University
  3. Jump up^ Essays in the theory of international capital movementspage 3. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  4. Jump up^ RUDI DORNBUSCH by Stanley Fischer – Project Syndicate
  5. Jump up^ Warsh, David (November 1, 2009). “What The Woman Lived”. Economic Principals. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  6. Jump up^ “Mr. Mundell, known as the father of the euro”[dead link]
  7. Jump up^ “Robert Mundell – Nobel Prize Winners – Key facts – About LSE – Home”. .lse.ac.uk. March 13, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  8. Jump up^ [1]
  9. Jump up^ http://www.polyu.edu.hk/iao/nobel2009/mundell_bio.pdf
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b “Robert A. Mundell – Biography”. Nobelprize.org. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b “Biography | The Works of Robert Mundell”. Robertmundell.net. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  12. Jump up^ A Theory of Optimum Currency Areas; The American Economic Review, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 657–665, 1961
  13. Jump up^ Capital Mobility, and Stabilization Policy under Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rates; Revue Canadienne d’Economique et de Science Politique, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 475–485, 1963
  14. Jump up^ “Mundell-Friedman debate” (PDF). Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  15. Jump up^ Mark Milner and Charlotte Denny (January 14, 2000). “The new endangered species | Business”. London: The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  16. Jump up^ show #1891 Archived August 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. Jump up^ show #2144 Archived October 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. Jump up^ show #2162 Archived May 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. Jump up^ show # 2238 Archived February 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. Jump up^ show #2466 Archived December 15, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. Jump up^ show #2505 Archived May 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.

External links

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Mark K. Updegrove — Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency — Videos

Posted on December 19, 2016. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, High School, history, Immigration, Language, Law, liberty, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Success, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, World War II, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Image result for Mark K. Updegrove -- Indomitable Will: LBJ in the PresidencyImage result for lbj and educationImage result for lbj bob kennedyImage result for lbj bob kennedyImage result for lbj on plane from dallas jfkImage result for lbj on plane from dallas jfk

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BookTV: Mark Updegrove, “Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency”

“Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency” — Mark Updegrove

“LBJ” with Mark Updegrove, Rob Reiner & Woody Harrelson

Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency

Published on May 11, 2012

Mark Updegrove, named “one of the country’s best historians” by CNN, is director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. He discussed his book, “Indomitable Will,” which provides a portrait of LBJ through the stories and recollections of those who were with him everyday during his presidency. The session was moderated by Terri Garner, director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

This footage has been provided by the Clinton School of Public Service. The Clinton School of Public Service is the only school in the nation to offer a Master’s Degree in public service. It is located on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The Clinton School’s Distinguished Lecture Series are speakers whom speak at the Clinton School, and can be attended by the general public through reserving a seat. More about the Clinton School of Public Service can be found at the link below;

An Intimate View of the Indomitable LBJ

LBJ: The 36th President of the United States

36 Lyndon Johnson

PBS LBJ Part 1

Presidency of LBJ

LBJ Documentary “The Great Society”

LBJ: From Senate Majority Leader to President, 1958-1964

How LBJ Mastered the Senate: The Most Riveting Political Biography of Our Time (2002)

The Most Riveting Political Biography of Our Time: The Definitive Portrait of LBJ (2002)

How Did LBJ Make His Money? The Disturbing Story of His Political Rise and Corruption (1990)

The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 1 of 3.

The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 2 of 3.

The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 3 of 3.

The Open Mind: Lyndon Johnson – ‘Master of the Senate’

The Open Mind: Lyndon Johnson – ‘Master of the Senate’ Part 2

The Open Mind: On History, Biography, Literature… and Robert Caro, Part 1 of 2

The Open Mind: On History, Biography, Literature… and Robert Caro, Part 2 of 2

How to Write a Great Biography: Authors Explain the Secrets to Success (1999)

Q&A: Robert Caro – Part 1

Published on May 7, 2012

Pulitzer prize winning author and historian Robert Caro discusses his newly released biography of Lyndon Johnson entitled “The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power.” This is his fourth book in the Johnson biographical series and Caro promises a fifth and final book in the future. The period covered in the book is from 1958 until early 1964.

Q&A: Robert Caro – Part 2

Robert Caro: Understanding Power (Full Length Version)

The Art of Political Power, with Robert Caro and William Hague

LBJ Versus The Kennedy’s: Chasing Demons

Death of LBJ as it broke

Indomitable Will

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency
Indomitable Will - LBJ in the Presidency.jpg
Author Mark K. Updegrove
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Crown Publishing Group
Publication date
March 13, 2012
Media type Hardcover
Pages 400

Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency is a biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson by Mark K. Updegrove, published in 2012.

Plot summary

Indomitable Will is a compilation of original interviews, personal accounts and recollections of individuals who knew, worked with and for President Lyndon Johnson during his five years as President of the United States. Sources include the Reverend Billy Graham, Carl Bernstein, Liz Carpenter, George H. W. Bush, Walter Mondale, Harry Middleton, Rose Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford, Helen Thomas, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Moyers, who served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson Administration.[1]

The book focuses on the extensive legislation passed during Johnson’s Presidency and includes photographs, transcripts from his telephone conversations, and previously unpublished documents.[2][3]

The author is a Presidential historian who has written two additional non-fiction works based on the lives of American Presidents: Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis (2009), and Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (2006).[4]


  1. Jump up^ Hendricks, David. “Express-News business writer and columnist”. MySanAntonio. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  2. Jump up^ Langan, Michael. “News Book Reviewer”. Buffalo News. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Monaco, Frances. “Reviewer”. The Post and Courier. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  4. Jump up^ “The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration”. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 5 June 2012.

External links


Mark K. Updegrove[1] (born August 25, 1961) is an American author, historian, journalist, television commentator, and director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas.

Early life and education

Updegrove was born outside Philadelphia in Abington, PA, on Aug. 25, 1961. He attended high school in Newtown, PA, at the George School, which honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015.[2] He attended Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1984.


Magazine Publishing

Updegrove spent much of his early career in magazine publishing, including serving as manager of Time Magazine in Los Angeles; president of Time Canada, Time’s separate Canadian edition and operation; and, publisher of Newsweek.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

Since October 2009, Updegrove has served as the fourth director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Mark Updegrove at The Vietnam War Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2016. Photo by Jay Godwin.

Under Updegrove’s direction, the library partnered with the Aspen Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50, in Washington, D.C, in April 2015, and in November 2015, partnered with WETA-TV, on In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of American Creativity, which aired on PBS, to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Early in his tenure at the library, Updegrove oversaw the $11 million renovation of the library’s core exhibits on Lyndon Johnson and his administration, which opened in December 2012.[3][4]

Updegrove’s December 2014 Politico article, What ‘Selma’ Gets Wrong,[5] ignited a controversy over the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist on voting rights in the film Selma, touching off a debate about the importance of accuracy in films based on historic events. In January 2015, Updegrove addressed the issue on CBS’ Face the Nation.[6]

Adjunct Professor/Lecturer

In 2013 and 2015, Updegrove taught The Johnson Years for Liberal Arts Honors students as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He has spoken extensively at numerous colleges and universities, museums, presidential libraries, and other public speaking forums.

Selected publications


  • Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library (University of Texas Press, 2015)
  • Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency (Crown Publishers, 2012)[7]
  • Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis (St. Martins Press, 2009)[8]
  • Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (Lyons Press, 2006)[9]


  1. Jump up^ Staff, Public Affairs. “Mark Updegrove Named New Director of LBJ Library”. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “Alumni Award Recipient 2015 – George School”. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  3. Jump up^ Shannon, Kelley. “LBJ library in Austin to unveil $10 million update Dec. 22”. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  4. Jump up^ Baskas, Harriet. “Oval Office audio tapes highlight redesigned LBJ Presidential Library”. NBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  5. Jump up^ “What ‘Selma’ Gets Wrong”. Politico. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  6. Jump up^ “Does the film “Selma” portray LBJ unfairly?”. Face the Nation. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Ealy, Charles. “‘Indomitable Will’ seeks to give LBJ due credit”. statesman.com. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  8. Jump up^ Heilbrunn, Jacob. “Crisis Management”. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  9. Jump up^ “Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House”. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 June 2006. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links



The Years of Lyndon Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from The Passage of Power)

The Years of Lyndon Johnson is a biography of Lyndon B. Johnson by the American writer Robert Caro. Four volumes have been published, running to more than 3,000 pages in total, detailing Johnson’s early life, education, and political career. A fifth volume will deal with the bulk of Johnson’s presidency. The series is published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Book One: The Path to Power (1982)

In the first volume, The Path to Power, Caro retraced Johnson’s early life growing up in the Texas Hill Country and Washington, D.C.. (Caro moved to these areas for months to interview numerous people who knew Johnson and his family.) This volume covers Johnson’s life through his failed 1941 campaign for the United States Senate. This book was released on November 12, 1982. It won the 1982 National Book Critics Circle Award. It was a finalist for the 1983 National Book Award, hardcover autobiography or biography.[1]

Book Two: Means of Ascent (1990)

In the second volume, Means of Ascent, Caro detailed Johnson’s life from the aftermath of Johnson’s first bid to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1948. Much of the book deals with Johnson’s bitterly contested Democratic primary against Coke R. Stevenson in that year. The book was released on March 7, 1990.

Book Three: Master of the Senate (2002)

In the third volume, Master of the Senate, Caro chronicles Johnson’s rapid ascent in United States Congress, including his tenure as Senate majority leader. This 1,167-page work examines in particular Johnson’s battle to pass a landmark civil rights bill through Congress without it tearing apart his party, whose southern bloc was anti-civil rights with the northern faction more supportive of civil rights. Although its scope was limited, the ensuing Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first such legislation since the Reconstruction era. The book was released on April 23, 2002. It won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, the 2002 National Book Award for Nonfiction,[2] the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, and the 2002 D.B. Hardeman Prize.[3]

Book Four: The Passage of Power (2012)

In the fourth volume, The Passage of Power, Caro covers Johnson’s life from 1958 to 1964, the challenges Johnson faced upon his assumption of the presidency, and the significant accomplishments in the months after Kennedy’s assassination.[4] The 736-page book was released on May 1, 2012. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award (2012; Biography),[5] the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2012; Biography),[6] the Mark Lynton History Prize (2013), the American History Book Prize (2013)[7] and the Biographers International Organization‘s Plutarch Award (2013).[8] It was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction (2012).[9] It was selected as one of Time magazine’s Best Books of the Year (non-fiction #2).

Book five

In November 2011, Caro estimated that the fifth and final volume would require another two to three years to write.[10] In March 2013, he affirmed a commitment to completing the series with a fifth volume.[11] As of April 2014, he was continuing to research the book.[12]

Themes of the series

Throughout the biography, Caro examines the acquisition and use of political power in American democracy, from the perspective both of those who wield it and those who are at its mercy. In an interview with Kurt Vonnegut and Daniel Stern, he once said: “I was never interested in writing biography just to show the life of a great man,” saying he wanted instead “to use biography as a means of illuminating the times and the great forces that shape the times—particularly political power.”[13]

Caro’s books portray Johnson as alternating between scheming opportunist and visionary progressive. Caro argues, for example, that Johnson’s victory in the 1948 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate was achieved through extensive fraud and ballot stuffing, just as Johnson had lost his 1941 senate race because his opponent stuffed the ballot boxes more than Johnson. Caro also highlights some of Johnson’s campaign contributions, such as those from the Texas construction firm Brown & Root; in 1962 the company was acquired by another Texas firm, Halliburton, which became a major contractor in the Vietnam War. Despite these criticisms, Caro’s portrayal of Johnson also notes his struggles on behalf of progressive causes such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Influence of the series

Politicians in particular have responded most strongly to The Years of Lyndon Johnson:

  • Tom Daschle, a former Senate majority leader, once told the newspaper Roll Call after reading Master of the Senate that “I think the thing you learn from reading that magnificent book is that every day, this body makes history.”
  • Walter Mondale, a former US vice president, described Master of the Senate as a “superb work of history.”
  • Gordon Brown, a former British prime minister, said of the series: “It’s a wonderfully written set of books. The stories are quite breathtaking … These books challenge the view of history that politics is just about individual maneuvering. It’s about ideas and principled policy achievements. That’s what makes it one of the great political biographies.”[14]
  • William Hague, a former British Conservative Party leader and foreign secretary, nominated Means of Ascent as the book he would most like to have with him on a desert island, in the BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs. He later wrote: “I explained that it was the best political biography of any kind, that I had ever read. I said it conveyed more brilliantly than any other publication what it really feels like to be a politician … When a fourth volume finally completes the set, this will be nothing short of a magnificent history of 20th century America.”[14]
  • Michael Howard, another former Conservative Party leader, encountered the series after swapping houses with Caro for a holiday. He said, “For Caro, writing a biography is writing a thriller—in Johnson’s case, a Western. You can’t stop turning the pages. He doesn’t like Johnson, but the facts are there so you can make your own judgments. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.”[14]

See also


  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power. 1982. Alfred a Knopf Inc., New York. (ISBN 0-679-72945-3). xxiii + 882 p. + 48 p. of plates: illus.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent. 1990. Alfred a Knopf Inc., New York. (ISBN 0-679-73371-X). xxxiv + 506 pp.
  • Caro, Robert A., Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. 2002. Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York. (ISBN 0-394-72095-4). xxiv + 1167 pp.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. 2012. Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York. (ISBN 0-375-71325-5). 736 pp.


  1. Jump up^ “National Book Awards – 1983”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  2. Jump up^ “National Book Awards – 2002”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20. (With acceptance speech.)
  3. Jump up^ “Recipients of the D. B. Hardeman Prize”. LBJ Foundation. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. Jump up^ Kakutani, Michiko (April 29, 2012). “A Nation’s Best and Worst, Forged in a Crucible”. New York Times.
  5. Jump up^ John Williams (March 1, 2013). “Robert A. Caro, Ben Fountain Among National Book Critics Circle Winners”. New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  6. Jump up^ Staff writer (April 19, 2013). “Announcing the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winners”. LA Times. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  7. Jump up^ Jennifer Schuessler (February 20, 2013). “Another Prize for Robert Caro”. New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  8. Jump up^ “Biographers International Organization, The Plutarch Award”.
  9. Jump up^ “National Book Award Finalists Announced Today”. Library Journal. October 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  10. Jump up^ Associated Press (November 1, 2011). “APNewsBreak: Caro’s fourth LBJ book coming in May”. CNSNews.com. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Erik Spanberg (March 8, 2013). “Catching up with award-winning LBJ biographer Robert Caro”. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  12. Jump up^ Patrick Beach (April 5, 2014). “Caro, LBJ biographer, is hard at work on book No. 5”. Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  13. Jump up^ Barbara Stone, ed. (1999). “The Round Table: Fiction, Biography And The Use Of Power”. Hampton Shorts. Water Mill, N.Y.: Hamptons Literary Publications. IV. ISBN 0-9658652-2-3.
  14. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Reviews”. http://www.robertcaro.com. Robert A. Caro. Retrieved 6 November 2015.

External links


Robert Caro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Caro
Robert Caro at the 2012 Texas Book Festival.
Born Robert Allan Caro
October 30, 1935 (age 81)
New York City, New York, United States
Residence Upper West Side
Occupation Biographer
Notable work The Power Broker
The Years of Lyndon Johnson
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Ina Joan Sloshberg Caro (m. 1957)[3]
Children Chase A. Caro
Parent(s) Benjamin and Cele (Mendelow) Caro
Writing career
Genre Non-fiction

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Robert Allan Caro (born October 30, 1935) is an American journalist and author known for his celebrated biographies of United States political figures Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson.

After working for many years as a reporter, Caro wrote The Power Broker (1974), a biography of New York urban planner Robert Moses, which was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century.[5] He has since written four of a planned five volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson (1982, 1990, 2002, 2012), a biography of the former president.

For his biographies, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes in Biography, the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize (awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that “best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist”), two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the H.L. Mencken Award, the Carr P. Collins Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, the D.B. Hardeman Prize, and a Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Life and career[edit]

Caro was born in New York City, the son of Cele (née Mendelow) and Benjamin Caro.[3] He “grew up on Central Park West at 94th Street. His father, a businessman, spoke Yiddish as well as English, but he didn’t speak either very often. He was ‘very silent,’ Caro said, and became more so after Caro’s mother died, after a long illness, when he [Caro] was 12.” It was his mother’s deathbed wish that he should go to the Horace Mann School, an exclusive private school in the Riverdale section of The Bronx. As a student there, Caro translated an edition of his school newspaper into Russian and mailed 10,000 copies to students in the USSR. He graduated in 1953.[6] He went on to Princeton University, where he majored in English. He became managing editor of The Daily Princetonian, second to R.W. Apple, Jr., later a prominent editor at The New York Times.[7]

His writings, both in class and out, had been lengthy since his years at Horace Mann. A short story he wrote for The Princeton Tiger, the school’s humor magazine, took up almost an entire issue. His senior thesis on existentialism in Hemingway was so long, Caro claims, that the university’s English department subsequently established a maximum length for senior theses by its students. He graduated cum laude in 1957.[1][7]

According to a 2012 New York Times Magazine profile, “Caro said he now thinks that Princeton, which he chose because of its parties, was one of his mistakes, and that he should have gone to Harvard. Princeton in the mid-1950s was hardly known for being hospitable towards the Jewish community, and though Caro says he did not personally suffer from anti-Semitism, he saw plenty of students who did.” He had a sports column in the Princetonian and also wrote for the Princeton Tiger humor magazine.[7] He was a Carnegie Fellow at Columbia University and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Caro began his professional career as a reporter with the New Brunswick Daily Home News (now merged into the Home News Tribune) in New Jersey. He took a brief leave to work for the Middlesex County Democratic Party as a publicist. He left politics after an incident where he was accompanying the party chair to polling places on election day. A police officer reported to the party chair that some African-Americans Caro saw being loaded into a police van, under arrest, were poll watchers who “had been giving them some trouble.” Caro left politics right there. “I still think about it,” he recalled in the 2012 Times Magazine profile. “It wasn’t the roughness of the police that made such an impression. It was the—meekness isn’t the right word—the acceptance of those people of what was happening.”[7]

From there he went on to six years as an investigative reporter with the Long Island newspaper Newsday. One of the articles he wrote was a long series about why a proposed bridge across Long Island Sound from Rye to Oyster Bay, championed by Robert Moses, would have been inadvisable, requiring piers so large it would disrupt tidal flows in the sound, among other problems. Caro believed that his work had influenced even the state’s powerful governor Nelson Rockefeller to reconsider the idea, until he saw the state’s Assembly vote overwhelmingly to pass a preliminary measure for the bridge.[7]

“That was one of the transformational moments of my life,” Caro said years later. It led him to think about Moses for the first time. “I got in the car and drove home to Long Island, and I kept thinking to myself: ‘Everything you’ve been doing is baloney. You’ve been writing under the belief that power in a democracy comes from the ballot box. But here’s a guy who has never been elected to anything, who has enough power to turn the entire state around, and you don’t have the slightest idea how he got it.'”[7]


The Power Broker[edit]

Main article: The Power Broker

Caro spent the academic year of 1965–1966 as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. During a class on urban planning and land use, the experience of watching Moses returned to him.

They were talking one day about highways and where they got built…and here were these mathematical formulas about traffic density and population density and so on, and all of a sudden I said to myself: “This is completely wrong. This isn’t why highways get built. Highways get built because Robert Moses wants them built there. If you don’t find out and explain to people where Robert Moses gets his power, then everything else you do is going to be dishonest.”[7]

To do so, Caro began work on a biography of Moses, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, also a study of Caro’s favorite theme: the acquisition and use of power. He expected it would take nine months to complete, but instead it took him until 1974.[7] The work was based on extensive research and 522 interviews, including seven interviews with Moses himself, several with Michael Madigan (who worked for Moses for 35 years); and numerous interviews with Sidney Shapiro (Moses’s general manager for forty years); as well as interviews with men who worked for and knew Moses’s mentor, New York Governor Al Smith.

His wife Ina functioned as his research assistant. Her master’s thesis on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge stemmed from this work. At one point she sold the family home and took a teaching job so Robert would be financially able to finish the book.[7]

The Power Broker is widely viewed [1] as a seminal work because it combined painstaking historical research with a smoothly flowing narrative writing style. The success of this approach was evident in his chapter on the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, where Caro reported the controversy from all perspectives, including that of neighborhood residents. The result was a work of powerful literary as well as academic interest.

The Years of Lyndon Johnson[edit]

Following The Power Broker, Caro turned his attention to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Caro retraced Johnson’s life by temporarily moving to rural Texas and Washington, D.C., in order to better understand Johnson’s upbringing and to interview anyone who had known Johnson. The work, entitled The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was originally intended as a trilogy, but is projected to encompass five volumes:

  1. The Path to Power (1982) covers Johnson’s life up to his failed 1941 campaign for the United States Senate.
  2. Means of Ascent (1990) commences in the aftermath of that defeat and continues through his election to that office in 1948.
  3. Master of the Senate (2002) chronicles Johnson’s rapid ascent and rule as Senate Majority Leader.
  4. The Passage of Power (2012) details the 1960 election, LBJ’s life as vice president, the JFK assassination and his first days as president.
  5. In November 2011, Caro announced that the full project had expanded to five volumes with the fifth requiring another two to three years to write.[8][9][10] It will cover Johnson and Vietnam, the Great Society and civil rights era, his decision not to run in 1968, and eventual retirement.

Caro’s books portray Johnson as a complex and contradictory character: at the same time a scheming opportunist and visionary progressive. Caro argues, for example, that Johnson’s victory in the 1948 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate was only achieved through extensive fraud and ballot box stuffing, though this is set in the practices of the time and in the context of Johnson’s previous defeat in his 1941 race for the Senate, the victim of exactly similar chicanery. Caro also highlighted some of Johnson’s campaign contributions, such as those from the Texas construction firm Brown and Root; in 1962 the company was acquired by another Texas firm, Halliburton, which became a major contractor in the Vietnam War. In addition, Caro argued that Johnson was awarded the Silver Star in World War II for political as well as military reasons, and that he later lied to journalists and the public about the circumstances for which it was awarded. Caro’s portrayal of Johnson also notes his struggles on behalf of progressive causes such as the Voting Rights Act, and his consummate skill in getting this enacted in spite of intense opposition from Southern Democrats.

Among sources close to the late president, Johnson’s widow Lady Bird Johnson “spoke to [Caro] several times and then abruptly stopped without giving a reason, and Bill Moyers, Johnson’s press secretary, has never consented to be interviewed, but most of Johnson’s closest friends, including John Connally and George Christian, Johnson’s last press secretary, who spoke to Caro practically on his deathbed, have gone on the record”.[7]


Caro’s books have been published by Alfred A. Knopf, first under editor in chief Robert Gottlieb and then by Sonny Mehta, “who took over the Johnson project – enthusiastically – after Gottlieb’s departure in 1987.” Gottlieb, five years Caro’s senior, suggested the Johnson project to Caro in 1974 in preference to the planned follow-up to the Moses volume, a biography of Fiorello LaGuardia that was then abandoned. The ex-President had recently died and Caro had already decided, before meeting with Gottlieb on the subject, to undertake the Texan’s biography; he “wanted to write about power”.[11] Gottlieb has continued as editor of Caro’s books since leaving Knopf and excerpted Volume 2 of the Johnson biography at The New Yorker when he was editor in chief there.[7]


For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award for the Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, and has won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Art and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize.

In October 2007, Caro was named a “Holtzbrinck Distinguished Visitor” at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany but then was unable to attend.

In 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama, the highest award in the humanities given in the United States. Delivering remarks at the end of the ceremony, the President said, “I think about Robert Caro and reading The Power Broker back when I was 22 years old and just being mesmerized, and I’m sure it helped to shape how I think about politics.”[12] In 2011, Robert Caro was the recipient of the 2011 BIO Award given each year by members of Biographers International “to a colleague who had made a major contribution in the advancement of the art and craft of real life depiction.”[13]


Caro has described his wife, Ina Caro, as “the whole team” on all five of his books. She sold their house and took a job teaching school to fund work on The Power Broker and is the only person other than himself who conducted research for his books.[20]

Ina is the author of The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France (1996),[21] a book which Arthur Schlesinger Jr. called, at the presentation of her honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from The City University of New York in 2011, “the essential traveling companion… for all who love France and its history.”[22] Newsweek reviewer Peter Prescott commented, “I’d rather go to France with Ina Caro than with Henry Adams or Henry James. The unique premise of her intelligent and discerning book is so startling that it’s a wonder no one has thought of it before.”[23] Ina frequently writes about their travels through France in her Paris to the Past blog. In June 2011, W. W. Norton published her second book, Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train (2011).[24]

The Caros have a son, Chase, a disbarred lawyer, and three grandchildren. Chase Caro was sentenced to 2.5 to 7.5 years in prison by County Court Judge Susan Cacace after pleading guilty to grand larceny.[25][relevant? ] Caro has a younger sibling, Michael, who is now a retired real estate manager.[7]

Pop culture references[edit]

In film[edit]

In The Stepford Wives (2004), Nicole Kidman‘s character attends a book club meeting with the Stepford wives and attempts to discuss the third volume of Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson, but the group chooses to review a book of Christmas crafts.

In television[edit]

In the last episode of season one of the U.S. TV series House of Cards, a copy of The Passage of Power can be seen lying on the desk of protagonist Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey).

In the television series The Simpsons, the episode “Treehouse of Horror XVI” features the character Lisa seen reading Master of the Senate in the vignette “Bart A.I.” Caro later guest-starred on the episode “Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing“.


  • Caro, Robert A., The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. 1974. Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York. (ISBN 0394480767). ix + 1246 pp. + xxxiv pp.: illus.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power. 1982. Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York. (ISBN 0394499735). xxiii + 882 p. + 48 p. of plates: illus.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent. 1990. Alfred A. Knopf Inc., New York. (ISBN 0394528352). xxxiv + 506 pp.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate. 2002. Alfred A. Knopf Inc, New York. (ISBN 0-394-52836-0). xxiv + 1167 pp.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power. 2012. Alfred A. Knopf Inc, New York. (ISBN 978-0-679-40507-8). 752 pp.
  • Zinsser, William Knowlton (ed.), Extraordinary Lives: The Art and Craft of American Biography, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-48617-3


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Professor Paul Bloom — Introduction to Psychology — Yale University — Video

Posted on November 6, 2016. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Education, High School, Life, Links, media, Non-Fiction, People, Raves, Resources, Tutorials, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Paul Bloom: The Psychology of Everything


Yale University has an introduction to psychology course PSYC 110 as part of its Open Yale course program given in 2008  that can be viewed on youtube:


2. Foundations: This Is Your Brain

3. Foundations: Freud

4. Foundations: Skinner

5. What Is It Like to Be a Baby: The Development of Thought

6. How Do We Communicate?: Language in the Brain, Mouth

7. Conscious of the Present; Conscious of the Past: Language

8. Conscious of the Present; Conscious of the Past:

9. Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Love (Guest Lecture by

10. Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Evolution and Rationality

11. Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Emotions, Part I

12. Evolution, Emotion, and Reason: Emotions, Part II

13. Why Are People Different?: Differences

14. What Motivates Us: Sex

15. A Person in the World of People: Morality

16. A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part I

17. A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part II

18. What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness, Part I

19. What Happens When Things Go Wrong: Mental Illness, Part II

20. The Good Life: Happiness

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Conor Cruise O’Brien — The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785–1800– Videos

Posted on May 31, 2016. Filed under: American History, Books, British History, Business, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Documentary, Education, European History, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, High School, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Terrorism, Trade, War, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , |



Conor Cruise O'Brien.jpg

Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800: U.S. History (1996)

HBO John Adams – Alexander Hamilton takes Jefferson to school

John Adams – George Washington confronts the French

The Best George Washington Full Documentary

American Revolution : Biography of

George Washington | Full Documentary |

Thomas Jefferson by Ken Burns | PBS America

#03 Thomas Jefferson

American Experience Thomas Jefferson 1

American Experience Thomas Jefferson 2

Alexander Hamilton


Jefferson French Revolution

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 1/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 2/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 3/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 4/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 5/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 6/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 7/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 8/9

Jefferson in Paris (1995) Part 9/9

The French Revolution in Two Minutes

The French Revolution History Channel HD

The French Revolution (1789–1799)

The French Revolution – Part 1 – English subtitles (La Révolution française – Les Années Lumières)

The French Revolution – Part 2 – English subtitles (La Révolution française – Les Années Terribles)

Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution

Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Jefferson: Enlightenment, Nation Building, and Slavery (2005)

Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Jefferson: Influence on the Revolution & Louisiana Purchase (2006)

Famous American Statesmen (including Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, etc.) Audiobook

Conor Cruise O’Brien

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people of the same name, see Conor O’Brien.
Conor Cruise O’Brien
Conor Cruise O'Brien.jpg

Cruise O’Brien pictured when he was a member of the UKUP
In office
27 October 1977 – 13 June 1979
Constituency University of Dublin
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs
In office
14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977
Teachta Dála
In office
18 June 1969 – 16 June 1977
Constituency Dublin North-East
MEP for Ireland
In office
1 January 1973 – March 1973
Personal details
Born 3 November 1917
Dublin, Ireland
Died 18 December 2008 (aged 91)
Nationality Irish
Political party Labour Party
Other political
UK Unionist Party
Spouse(s) Christine Foster (m.1939–div.1959)
Máire Mhac an tSaoi (m.1962–2008)
Children Donal Cruise O’Brien (by Christine Foster)
Fedelma Cruise O’Brien (by Christine Foster)
Kate Cruise O’Brien (by Christine Foster)
Patrick Cruise O’Brien (adopted with Máire Mhac an tSaoi)
Margaret Cruise O’Brien(adopted with Máire Mhac an tSaoi)
Alma mater Trinity College Dublin
Occupation Journalist

Conor Cruise O’Brien (3 November 1917 – 18 December 2008)[1] often nicknamed “The Cruiser”,[2] was an Irish politician, writer, historian and academic. His opinion on the role of Britain in Ireland and in Northern Ireland changed during the 1970s in response to the outbreak of ‘the Troubles’ after 1968. He saw opposing nationalist and unionist traditions as irreconcilable and switched from a nationalist to a unionist view of Irish politics and history. O’Brien’s outlook was always radical and the positions he took were seldom orthodox. He summarised his position as, “I intend to administer an electric shock to the Irish psyche“.[3] Internationally, he opposed in person the African National Congress’s academic boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa.[4] These views contrasted with those espoused during the 1950s and 1960s.

During his career as a civil servant O’Brien worked on the government’s anti-partition campaign. At the 1969 general election, he was elected to Ireland’s parliament as a Labour Party TD for Dublin North-East becoming a Minister from 1973–77.[5] He was also the Labour Party’s Northern Ireland spokesman during those years. He was later known primarily as an author and as a columnist for the Irish Independent.

Early life

Cruise O’Brien was born in Dublin to Francis (“Frank”) Cruise O’Brien and Kathleen Sheehy. Frank was a journalist with the Freeman’s Journaland Irish Independent newspapers, and had edited an essay written fifty years earlier by William Lecky, on the influence of the clergy on Irish politics.[6] Kathleen was an Irish language teacher. She was the daughter of David Sheehy, a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party and organiser of the Irish National Land League. She had two sisters, both of whom lost their husbands in 1916. Hanna‘s husband, the well knownpacifist and supporter of women’s suffrage Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, was executed by firing squad on the orders of Captain J.C Bowen Colthurst during the 1916 Easter Rising.[7] Soon afterwards Mary’s husband, Thomas Kettle, an officer of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers was killed during the Battle of the Somme. These three women, Hanna and his mother in particular, were a major influence on O’Brien’s upbringing alongside Hanna’s son, his cousin Owen Sheehy-Skeffington.[8]

O’Brien’s father (who died in 1927) wanted Conor educated non-denominationally, a wish that Kathleen honoured. O’Brien followed his cousin Owen into Sandford Park School that had a predominantly Protestant ethos,[9] despite objections from Catholic clergy.[10] O’Brien subsequently attended Trinity College Dublin which played the British national anthem until 1939, though O’Brien and Sheehy-Skeffington sat in protest on such occasions.[11] He was elected a scholar in Modern Languages at Trinity in 1937. O’Brien was editor of Trinity’s weekly, TCD: A College Miscellany. His first wife, Christine Foster, came from a Belfast Presbyterian family and was, like her father, a member of the Gaelic League. Her parents, Alexander (Alec) Roulston Foster and Mary Lynd, were Irish republicans and supporters of Irish reunification. Alec Foster was headmaster at the time of Belfast Royal Academy and was later a founding member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and also a strong supporter of the Irish Anti-Apartheid movement.[12] He was a former Ulster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions rugby player, having captained Ireland three times between 1912–1914. O’Brien and Christine Foster were married in a registry office in 1939. The couple had three children – Donal, Fedelma, and Kathleen (Kate), who died in 1998. The marriage ended in divorce after 20 years. In 1962, O’Brien married the Irish-language writer and poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi in a Roman Catholic church. O’Brien’s divorce, contrary to Roman Catholic teaching, was not an issue since that church did not recognise the validity of O’Brien’s 1939 civil wedding in the first place. O’Brien referred to this action, which in effect formally de-recognised the legitimacy of his former wife and children, as “hypocritical … and otherwise distasteful, but I took it, as preferable to the alternatives.”[13] Mac an tSaoi was five years his junior, and the daughter of Seán MacEntee, who was Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) at the time. They subsequently adopted two Congolese children, a son (Patrick) and a daughter (Margaret).

O’Brien’s university education led to a career in the public service, most notably in the Department of External (now Foreign) Affairs. He achieved distinction as managing director of the state run Irish News Agency and later as part of the fledgling Irish delegation to the United Nations. O’Brien later claimed he was something of an anomalous iconoclast in post-1922 Irish politics, particularly in the context of Fianna Fáilgovernments under Éamon de Valera. He considered that those who did not conform to traditional Roman Catholic mores were generally ill-suited to the public service,[14] though that does not appear to have impeded his ascent through it that ended officially at ambassadorial level. He observed,

There was nothing unusual even then about not believing in Catholicism. What was unusual then was to acknowledge publicly that you did not believe in Catholicism…. It is interesting that this did absolutely no harm to my public career around the mid-century – a time when the authority of a triumphant Catholic Church appeared to be overwhelmingly strong, in the media and in public life. But I think many educated people – including many in the public service – already resented that authority and, while being discreet about this themselves, had some respect for a person who publicly rejected it altogether.[15]

In the Department of External Affairs during the 1949–52 inter-party government, O’Brien served under former IRA Chief of Staff republican, Seán MacBride, the 1974 Nobel PeaceLaureate, son of John MacBride and Maud Gonne. O’Brien was particularly vocal in opposition to partition during the 1940s and 1950s, as part of his official duties.

International postings

In 1961 O’Brien came to world prominence after secondment from Ireland’s UN delegation as a special representative to Dag Hammarskjöld, Secretary General of the United Nations in theKatanga region of the newly independent Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). As per his understanding of his mission, O’Brien initiated military action to prevent the mineral rich region from seceding by expelling French and other western backed mercenaries. Western powers had been attempting to provoke secession, in particular Britain and the adjoining white ruled Rhodesia.[16] A UN crisis ensued and O’Brien was forced to step down from his UN position and also simultaneously from the Irish diplomatic service in late 1961. Michael Ignatieff asserted that Hammarskjöld, who was killed in Katanga prior to O’Brien’s departure in a suspicious plane crash, had misjudged O’Brien’s abilities as U.N. representative. He further observed that O’Brien’s use of military force provided the Soviets and the US with ammunition in their campaign against the U.N. Secretary General and UN action opposed to the interests of the big powers.[17] O’Brien wrote immediately about his experiences in The Observer (London) and in the New York Times on 10, 17 December 1961, and later in To Katanga and Back(1962), considered a classic of both modern African history and of the inner workings of the United Nations. In 1962, in response to an invitation from the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and the country’s leader, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, O’Brien accepted a position as Vice-Chancellor of the University. However, his interpretation of academic freedom later differed from that of Dr. Nkrumah, and he subsequently resigned in 1965.[18] Following this he was the first Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities at New York University from 1965 to 1969. During the 1960s O’Brien opposed western, in particular US, imperialism and protested against US participation in the Vietnam War. in 1965 O’Brien declared himself “a liberal, incurably … profoundly attached to liberal concepts of freedom… of speech and of the press”[19]

O’Brien also supported the right of oppressed people to use violence. In a debate involving Noam Chomsky, Hannah Arendt, Susan Sontag and others in 1967, he asserted,

The question has also been raised here about the terror used by the National Liberation Front [in Vietnam], and by other revolutionary movements. I think there is a distinction between the use of terror by oppressed peoples against the oppressors and their servants, in comparison with the use of terror by their oppressors in the interests of further oppression. I think there is a qualitative distinction there which we have the right to make.[20]

Irish politics

O’Brien returned to Ireland and in the 1969 general election was elected to Dáil Éireann as a member of the opposition Labour Party, representing the Dublin North-East constituency,[21]together with three other TDs, including Charles Haughey, whose probity in financial matters he questioned.[22] He was appointed a member of the short-lived first delegation from theOireachtas to the European Parliament. Following the 1973 general election, O’Brien was appointed Minister for Posts and Telegraphs in the 1973–77 Labour Fine Gael coalition under Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.

During this period, after the outbreak of armed conflict in Northern Ireland in 1969, O’Brien developed a deep hostility to militant Irish republicanism and to Irish nationalists generally in Northern Ireland, reversing views articulated at the outset of unrest.[23] He also reversed his opposition to broadcasting censorship imposed by the previous government, by extending and vigorously enforcing censorship of Radio Teilefís Éireann (RTÉ) under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act. In 1976 he specifically banned spokespersons for Sinn Féin and the Provisional Irish Republican Army from RTÉ.[23] At the same time, he attempted unsuccessfully to get Britain’s BBC 1 television channel broadcast on Ireland’s proposed second television channel, instead of allowing RTÉ to run it.[24][25]

Two additional notable incidents affected O’Brien’s career as minister, besides support for broadcasting censorship.

In August 1976 Bernard Nossiter of the Washington Post interviewed O’Brien regarding the passage of an Emergency Powers Bill. During the course of the interview O’Brien revealed an intention to extend censorship beyond broadcasting. He wished to “cleanse the culture” of republicanism and would like the bill to be used against teachers who allegedly glorified Irish revolutionaries. He also wanted it used against newspaper editors who published pro-republican or anti-British readers’ letters.[26] O’Brien mentioned the Irish Press as a newspaper which in particular he hoped to use the legislation against and produced a file of Irish Press letters to the editor to which he took exception. Nossiter immediately informed Irish Press editor Tim Pat Coogan of O’Brien’s intentions. Coogan printed Nossiter’s report (as did the Irish TImes), republished the letters to which O’Brien objected, and ran a number of strong editorials attacking O’Brien and the proposed legislation. The interview caused huge controversy, resulting in modification of the measure appearing to target newspapers.[27]

O’Brien also supported Garda brutality in this 1973–77 period, though this was not revealed by O’Brien until 1998 in his Memoir.[28] In Memoir: My Life and Themes, O’Brien recalled a conversation with a detective who told him how the Gardaí had found out – from a suspect – the location of businessman Tiede Herrema, who had been kidnapped by group of maverick republicans in October 1975: “[T]he escort started asking him questions and when at first he refused to answer, they beat the shit out of him. Then he told them where Herrema was.” O’Brien explained, “I refrained from telling this story to [ministerial colleagues] Garret [FitzGerald] or Justin [Keating], because I thought it would worry them. It didn’t worry me.”[29] Elements of the Garda Síochána that engaged in beating false confessions out of suspects quickly became known as the “Heavy Gang”.[30][31]

O’Brien’s Dublin North-East constituency was abolished as part of a government inspired redrawing of boundaries. In the 1977 general election he stood in Dublin Clontarf and was one of three ministers defeated in a general rout of the outgoing administration.[32] He was, however, subsequently elected to Seanad Éireann in 1977 from the Trinity College Dublin constituency, though he resigned his seat in 1979 due to new commitments as editor-in-chief of the London Observer newspaper.

Editor in Chief at the Observer

Between 1978 and 1981 O’Brien was editor-in-chief of The Observer newspaper in Britain. In 1979 he controversially pulped an Observer magazine with an article by Mary Holland, The Observer’s Ireland correspondent. Holland, whose reporting won her a Journalist of the Year award, had been one of the first journalists to explain discrimination in Northern Ireland to a British audience. The article was a profile of Mary Nellis of Derry and dealt with her radicalisation as a result of the conflict. O’Brien objected and sent Holland a memo stating that the “killing strain” of Irish republicanism, “has a very high propensity to run in families and the mother is most often the carrier”.[11] The memo continued, “It is a very serious weakness of your coverage of Irish affairs that you are a very poor judge of Irish Catholics. That gifted and talkative community includes some of the most expert conmen and conwomen in the world and I believe you have been conned.[33] Holland was forced out of the newspaper by O’Brien. She later joined the Irish Times as a columnist. She also rejoined The Observer after O’Brien’s departure in 1981.[34]


In 1985, O’Brien supported unionist objections to the inter governmental Anglo-Irish Agreement. In 1996 he joined Robert McCartney‘s United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP) and was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum. In 1997, a successful libel action was brought against him by relatives of Bloody Sunday victims for alleging in a Sunday Independent article in 1997 that the marchers were “Sinn Féin activists operating for the IRA”.[35] O’Brien opposed the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and opposed allowing Sinn Féin into government in Northern Ireland. He later resigned from the UKUP after his book Memoir: My Life and Themes called on Unionists to consider the benefits of a united Ireland to thwart Sinn Féin. In 2005 he rejoined the Labour Party. O’Brien defended his harsh attitudes and actions towards Irish republicans, saying “We do right to condemn all violence but we have a special duty to condemn the violence which is committed in our name”.[36]


Conor Cruise O’Brien’s many books include: States of Ireland (1972), where he first indicated his revised view of Irish nationalism, The Great Melody (1992), his unorthodox biography ofEdmund Burke, and his autobiography Memoir: My Life and Themes (1999). He also published a collection of essays, Passion and Cunning (1988), which includes a substantial piece on the literary work of William Butler Yeats and some challenging views on the subject of terrorism, and The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism (1986), a history of Zionism and the State of Israel. His books, particularly those on Irish issues, tend to be personalised, for example States of Ireland, where he made the link between the political success of the republican Easter Rising and the consequent demise of his Home Rule family’s position in society. His private papers have been deposited in the University College Dublin Archives.

In 1963, O’Brien’s script for a Telefís Éireann programme on Charles Stewart Parnell won him a Jacob’s Award.[37]

He was a longtime columnist for the Irish Independent. His articles were distinguished by hostility to the ‘peace process’ in Northern Ireland, regular predictions of civil war involving the Republic of Ireland, and a pro-Unionist stance. O’Brien also abused the Irish tax exemption for works of literary merit by claiming this exemption for his newspaper column.

O’Brien held visiting professorships and lectureships throughout the world, particularly in the United States, and controversially in apartheid South Africa, openly breaking the academic boycott. A persistent critic of Charles Haughey, O’Brien coined the acronym GUBU (Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented), based on a statement by Charles Haughey, who was then Taoiseach, commenting on the discovery of a murder suspect, Malcolm MacArthur, in the apartment of the Fianna Fáil Attorney General Patrick Connolly.[38] Until 1994, O’Brien was a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin.


Máire and Conor Cruise O’Brien:

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Alan Bennet — The History Boys — Videos

Posted on April 20, 2016. Filed under: Art, Art, Blogroll, Books, College, Comedy, Communications, Education, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Fiction, Films, High School, history, Language, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Movies, Music, Music, People, Photos, Plays, Poetry, Raves, Video, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

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The History Boys – Trailer

2006 The History Boys

Theater Talk: Alan Bennett on “The History Boys”

Theater Talk: Actor Richard Griffiths of “The History Boys”; Bob Martin of “The Drowsy Chaperone”

Alan Bennett in conversation: part one

Alan Bennett in conversation: part two

Alan Bennett The Lady in The Van Interview

A Chip in the Sugar – Alan Bennett – Talking Heads

Alan Bennett – Sunset Across the Bay (TV Play 1975)

Alan Bennett – Telegram

Alan Bennett & John Fortune: “Men’s Talk”

Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller

Oxbridge Philosophy – Alan Bennett & Jonathan Miller

The Lady In The Van – Alan Bennett Featurette – Starring Maggie Smith – At Cinemas Now

The Lady In The Van Trailer #2 – Starring Maggie Smith – At Cinemas November 13

Maggie Smith

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, CH DBE (born 28th December 1934) is an English actress. She made her stage debut in 1952 and has had an extensive, varied career in stage, film and television spanning over sixty years. Smith has appeared in over 50 films and is one of Britain’s most recognisable actresses. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1990 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to drama.

Dame Maggie Smith’s brilliant career

Beyond the Fringe (Complete)

Beyond the Fringe was a British comedy stage revue written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller. It played in London’s West End and then on New York’s Broadway in the early 1960s, and is widely regarded as seminal to the rise of satire in 1960s Britain.

Take A Pew – Alan Bennett

Richard Griffiths (1947-2013)

The History Boys – Broadway

Almost complete recording of the original production during its run on Broadway. Not mine but thanks for sharing whoever it was 🙂

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The Meaning of Independence Day — Video

Posted on July 3, 2014. Filed under: American History, College, Communications, Constitution, Education, High School, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Radio, Raves, Talk Radio, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |


The Meaning of Independence Day – Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights

Dr. Michael Berliner, co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute, former professor of philosophy and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, reminds us of the true meaning of Independence Day.

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16 Year Old Teenager Stabs 20 in High School — Progressives Call For Registration of All Knives, Concealed Knife Carry Permits and Ban On All Assault Knives — Will Baseball Bats Be Next? — Videos

Posted on April 10, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll, Culture, Diasters, Economics, Education, Freedom, High School, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Press, Rants, Security, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 221: February 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 204: February 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 201: January 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 200: January 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 197: January 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 188: January 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Story 1:16 Year Old Teenager Stabs 20 in High School — Progressives Call For Registration of All Knives, Concealed Knife Carry Permits and Ban On All Assault Knives — Will Baseball Bats Be Next? —  Videos


20_hurt_in_Pennsylvania_school_stabbing_1492980000_4031342_ver1.0_640_480franklin-regional-hs-600franklin2 the_stabber stabber_2Alex Hribal suspect


News Wrap: Teenager stabs students at Pennsylvania school

High School Stabbing Franklin Regional High School Murrysville Pennsylvania 20 Students

Alex Hribal Did High School Stabbing At Franklin High Murrysville Pennsylvania

BREAKING: Surgeon Reports Over Mass Stabbing at Franklin High School

Mass Stabbing 20 Students injured Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville PA YouTube