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SCHUMPETER, Joseph Alois.

Theorie der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.

Published: Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1912

Stock code: 109215

Price: £3,500

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First edition, scarce, of the first statement of what was to become known as the “Schumpeterian system”. In this work Schumpeter “replaced Marx’s greedy, bloodsucking capitalist by the dynamic innovating entrepreneur as the linchpin of the capitalist system, responsible not just for technical progress but the very existence of a positive rate of profit on capital. Distinguishing between ‘inventions’ and ‘innovations’, he stressed the fact that scientific and technical inventions amount to nothing unless they are adopted, which calls for as much daring and imagination as the original act of discovery by the scientist or engineer. Furthermore, the ‘innovations’ that count for economic progress consist of much more than the new machines that capture popular attention: they take the form of new products, new sources of supply, new forms of industrial and financial organisation just as much as of new methods of production. The entrepreneur is frequently also the capitalist; nevertheless, in principle there is a world of difference between doing things in a new way and providing the capital required to finance a new venture. The capitalist earns ‘interest’, but the entrepreneur earns ‘profit’ and without the dynamic change created by the entrepreneur, the rate of profit would soon fall to zero… His theory of the entrepreneur has ever since been the starting point for every subsequent discussion of entrepreneurship” (Blaug).

Octavo (217 x 136 mm). Contemporary dark grey half cloth by Jarchow of Hamburg (with his ticket), brown calf label, marbled sides, speckled edges. Stamp on title page of the “Seminar für Nationalökonomie Hamburg” and another stating “Eingetragen in die Kataloge” [recorded in the catalogues], contemporary note reading “2/5/1914”. Old library label on spine, a number of contemporary pencilled marginal annotations and underlinings (in German). A very good copy.

Bibliography: Blaug, Great Economists before Keynes, pp. 215-216; IESS (1912); not in Mattioli; Swedberg S.003.

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