Béla Balassa bigraphy, stories - Economists

Béla Balassa : biography

6 April 1928 - 10 May 1991

Béla Alexander Balassa (6 April 1928 – 10 May 1991) was a Hungarian economist and world-renowned professor at Johns Hopkins University and a consultant for the World Bank.

Balassa is most famous for his work on the relationship between purchasing power parity and cross-country productivity differences (the Balassa-Samuelson effect). He is also known for his seminal work on revealed comparative advantage.

Balassa received a law degree from the University of Budapest. He left Hungary after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and went to Austria. While there, he received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to study at Yale University, where he received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics in 1958 and 1959, respectively. He won the John Addison Porter Prize for 1959... Belassa also did extensive consulting work for the World Bank, serving as an advisor about development and trade policy. According to an authoritative history of the Bank, Balassa was "a protagonist of the Bank's conceptual transformation in the trade-policy area during the 1970s."

Beyond economics, Balassa was a noted gourmet who compiled and periodically updated an unofficial guide to eating well in Paris while remaining within an international agency expense allowance, which circulated among his friends and colleagues.Balassa, Béla. A Primer in Culinary Economics, or How to Maximize the Culinary Utility of the Dollar in Paris. Processed. 8th edition, 1987.


  • 1962–1967 teaching assistant at Yale University
  • 1966–1991 Professor at Johns Hopkins University
  • 1966– Advisor, the World Bank
  • 1970–1971 editor of REStat; chairman of the Association of Comparative Economics
  • 1979–1980 chairman of the Association of Comparative Economic Studies
  • 1980 Institut de France, Laureate
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine