Knut Wicksell on Poverty: No Place Is Too Exalted

By Mats Lundahl | Go to book overview

8

Wicksell's views

A summary interpretation

If we caricature a little, the way in which Wicksell's views on population and poverty are usually conceived is the following. The sex drive of mankind leads it to reproduce in geometric progression, as hypothesized by Malthus. Food production, on the other hand, only increases in arithmetic progression, also a la Malthus. This is an unsustainable situation, which can last for a limited time only. People get poorer and then attempt to emigrate if they can. For those who fail, the vices of drunkenness and prostitution lurk around the corner. The only escape goes through the systematic use of contraceptives within the marriage. The optimum population is the one that maximizes the economic well-being of the population. The optimum population theory is the core of Wicksell's population theory, ' summarizes Monica Fong (1976:315). This is usually the only credit he receives when his writings on population are mentioned.

This treatment is not fair to Wicksell, for his ideas link up nicely in a general equilibrium framework of international trade and factor movements. In his foreword to Value, Capital and Rent, G.L.S. Shackle (1954:7) makes the following characteristic of Wicksell's scientific contribution: 'Wicksell's work was like a mountain from whose flanks divergent streams run down and bring fertility to widely separate fields, only to merge again later into a single broad river.' This statement describes his views on poverty and population very well. In order to get a complete picture of them we must pull a number of threads together. The present chapter is devoted to a demonstration of how this can be done.


A formalization of the Wicksellian system

Wicksell's discussion of the effects of population growth is carried out within an implicit framework that closely resembles the modern general equilibrium approach to international trade and factor movements, as this had been developed in the 1970s. Time after time he comes back to the

-69-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Knut Wicksell on Poverty: No Place Is Too Exalted
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Tumultuous Beginnings 8
  • 3 - The Causes of Population Growth 23
  • 4 - The Centerpiece of Wicksell's Theory 30
  • 5 - Overpopulation, Specialization, and Trade 39
  • 6 - Emigration 50
  • 7 - The Optimum Population 59
  • 8 - Wicksell's Views 69
  • 9 - Why Was Wicksell Accused of Lack of Originality? 86
  • Notes 105
  • References 109
  • Index 117
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 122

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.