Oral history interview with Hans W. Singer, 2000


Singer, H. W. (Hans Wolfgang), 1910-2006 (Interviewee)
Jolly, Richard (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Hans W. Singer, 2000
Background and childhood: born November 29, 1910 in Elberfeld, Germany, member of the Jewish minority, eldest child, father served as medical corps doctor in Germany army, mother, housewife; education: Diploma of Economics, University of Bonn, 1929-32, Kings College, Cambridge University; career: lecturer in political economy, University of Glasgow, 1946, 22 years as economist for United Nations [ UN] beginning 1947, involvement in economic aspects of United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF], Department of Economic Affairs, World Food Programme [WFP], United Nations Research Institute for Social Development [UNRISD], Economic Commission for Africa [ECA], and African Development Bank, director of Economic Division of United Nations Industrial Development Organization [UNIDO], 1967-69, honorary fellow at Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex; themes: experience of economic hyperinflation in Germany after WWI leading to interest in economic and social issues, Prebisch/Singer thesis of deteriorating terms of trade, effect of thesis on international public policy discourse and policy in '50s and '60s, influences of League of Nations on UN, effects of Cold War on economic work, UN leadership, involvement and writing of UNICEF publication, accusations of communism during McCarthy period, Development Decade (1960s), employment and economic inequalities in poor nations, family reminiscences, colleague reminiscences
Collection Name
United Nations intellectual history project (UNIHP)
Economists--Great Britain; Development economics; International economic relations; Economic policy; Economic assistance; Cold War--Influence; Developing countries Economic conditions; Developing countries Commerce; Germany Economic policy 1918-1933; Singer, H. W. (Hans Wolfgang), 1910-2006; United Nations Officials and employees; United Nations History
oral histories; sound recordings
Note (Biographical)
UN Economist
Interviewed by Richard Jolly on January 2, 2000
Note (Provenance)
Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Gift, 2009
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
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Oral History Archives at Columbia
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