Knut Wicksell: Selected Essays in Economics - Vol. 2

By Knut Wicksell; Bo Sandelin | Go to book overview

35

GOETZ BRIEFS, UNTERSUCHUNGEN ZUR KLASSISCHEN NATIONALOKONOMIE, MIT BESONDERER BERÜCKSICHTIGUNG DES PROBLEMS DER DURCHSCHNITTSPROFITRATE {STUDIES IN CLASSICAL ECONOMICS, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE PROBLEM OF THE AVERAGE RATE OF PROFIT}

Jena, Gustav Fischer, 1915

In spite of its title, the book deals almost exclusively with English economists, particularly Ricardo; the fact that Germany has also had a classical economist, who quite independently came to almost the same conclusions as the English School—von Thünen—is mentioned nowhere.

In his preface, the author states that the goal of ‘modern economies’ is to ‘overcome the Classical School, ‘to go beyond it, break free of it, because as a whole it no longer has any relevance to modern socio-economic problems’, and so on. For him, there is therefore no question of continuing to build, in a spirit of gratitude, on the existing foundations; what is needed is a whole new creation. On what basis is not stated directly, but perhaps it can be guessed from the heavy emphasis the author places on the personal element in production, from his view of profit—and if I have understood him correctly, also of rent, though he is somewhat vaguer on this point—as ‘a reward for services to society’. On p. 151 he claims it is ‘simply incontestable that in the very branches of business where free competition has been established

Originally published in Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, vol. 8, 1916.

-230-

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