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Possibilities for Application of Operational Research to Problems of Development

Jan Tinbergen

Management Science, 1964, vol. 10, issue 2, 193-197

Abstract: The organizers of this meeting have asked me to summarize the discussions of the last three days and to draw some conclusions. These will have to be provisional and personal conclusions only, formulated in all modesty, since I am not an expert in several of the more sophisticated methods discussed here. While the term "operational research" has not, as far as I know, a very precise meaning, we may nevertheless characterize it by: (1) treating complicated problems with a large number of variables; (2) using various modern mathematical and logistic methods; and (3) being directed toward a goal of action. Its success has been proved already especially solving a number of problems in manufacturing industries, transportation and energy, fields for which usually precise and abundant data are available which make it worthwhile applying sophisticated methods. When we ask whether this complex of methods can also be applied to development problems, it seems appropriate to summarize also what seems to be characteristic for these problems.

Date: 1964
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