Pelikan, Pavel 1935–

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Pelikan, Pavel 1935–

PERSONAL: Born August 16, 1935, in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic); married September 5, 1975; wife's name, Gudrun (a teacher); children: Rene, Andrea. Education: Czech University of Technology, Ing. (engineering), 1959; Charles University, Ph.D., 1965.

ADDRESSES: Office—Ratio Institute, Box 5095, Stockholm SE 10242, Sweden. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Prague University of Economics, Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), lecturer, 1966–69, professor, 1996–; University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, associate professor of economics, 1969–75; University of Paris, Sorbonne, Paris, France, professor of economics, 1977–83, 1989–2000; Ratio Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, senior research fellow, 2002–.


(With O. Kyn) Kybernetika v ekonomii, Svoboda (Prague, Czechoslovakia), 1965.

Man and Information, Svoboda (Prague, Czechoslovakia), 1967.

(Editor, with Gerhard Wegner) The Evolutionary Analysis of Economic Policy, Edward Elgar (Northampton, MA), 2003.

Contributor to books, including Can the Imperfect Innovation System of Capitalism Be Outperformed?, edited by G. Dosi and others, Pinter (London, England), 1988; Competition of Socio-Economic Institutions: In Search of the Winners, edited by L. Gerken, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1995; and Self-Organizing and Darwinian Selection in Economic and Biological Evolutions: An Inquiry into the Sources of Organizing Information, Edward Elgar (Northampton, MA), 2001. Contributor to periodicals, including American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, and Constitutional Political Economy,

WORK IN PROGRESS: Comprehensive Economics and Basic Policy Issues: An Obligatory Cooperation of Institutional, Evolutionary, and Cognitive Analyses, completion expected c. 2005; research on evolutionary processes in economies, similarities with and differences from evolutionary processes in biology, information aspects of organizing processes, and policy implications, especially for economic reforms and transformations.

SIDELIGHTS: Pavel Pelikan told CA: "With my master's diploma in electrical engineering, I started a doctoral program in computer design. I was forced to interrupt it after my professor, discouraged by the impossibility to make good use of his competence in the socialist economy of Czechoslovakia of the 1960s, fled to the United States. This made me interested in political and economic problems: why some economies can make better use of the talents of their population than others. I was offered an opportunity to participate in the reform movement of the 'Prague Spring' and consequently switched to economics. Since then, the main question which underlies most of my research and writing is: if an economy works poorly, what are the causes of it, and what could policy do (and not do) about it?

"The economists who influenced most include F. A. Hayek, J. A. Schumpeter, H. Simon, A. Alchian, and D. C. North. But I have also found much inspiration in my previous studies of information processing systems, and in my more recent readings in molecular and evolutionary biology. I also follow and learn from standard economic literature, but find it seldom deals with the basic policy issues that interest me, or it deals with them under such oversimplified assumptions that its results can hardly be trusted (formally correct, but in practice possibly misleading policy implications)."