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Alfred Sauvy: Wikis


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Alfred Sauvy (1898-1990) was a demographer, anthropologist and historian of the French economy. Sauvy coined the term Third World ("Tiers Monde") in reference to the underdeveloped countries in an article published in the French magazine L'Observateur on August 14, 1952. At the end of the article Sauvy said:

" enfin, ce Tiers Monde ignoré, exploité, méprisé comme le Tiers Etat, veut lui aussi, être quelque chose"
"...because at the end this ignored, exploited, scorned Third World like the Third Estate, wants to become something too".

In using the expression Third World here he was paraphrasing Sieyès's famous sentence about the Third Estate during the French Revolution.


Sauvy was born in Villeneuve-de-la-Raho (Pyr√©n√©es-Orientales) in 1898, and educated at the √Čcole Polytechnique. After graduating, he worked at the Statistique G√©n√©rale de France until 1937. He took part in the X-Crise Group. In 1938, Paul Reynaud called him to deal with economic issues until the war arrived in 1939. During the Nazi occupation Sauvy helped in the publication of the Bulletin Rouge-Brique, a non-censored pamphlet. After the war, Charles de Gaulle wanted to appoint him the General Secretary for Family and Population, but Sauvy decided to devote himself to demographics. He became director of the INED (National Institute of Demographic Studies) and simultaneously represented France at the commission of Statistics and Population of the United Nations. He wrote for Le Monde until his death in October 1990.


  • . (Collection Th√©mis -Sciences sociales)
  • 1977 Co√Ľt et valeur de la vie humaine -- Paris : Hermann, 210 p.
  • 1980 La machine et le ch√īmage : les progr√®s techniques et l'emploi -- Paris : Dunod/Bordas, 320 p.
  • 1984 Le travail noir et l'√©conomie de demain -- Paris : Calmann-L√©vy, 304 p.
  • 1985 De la rumeur √† l'histoire -- Paris : Dunod, 304 p.
  • 1990 La terre et les hommes : le monde o√Ļ il va, le monde d'o√Ļ il vient -- Paris : Economica, 187 p.


  • Mart√≠nez Coll, Juan Carlos (2001): Grandes Economistas, [1] February 22, 2004


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