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SCHUMPETER, Joseph Alois.

Business Cycles.

A Theoretical, Historical, and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process.

New York and London: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1939 Stock Code: 143901
£5,250.00
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From the library of P. J. Verdoorn

First edition, first printing, of one of Schumpeter's most significant contributions to economic theory, among the seminal texts of business cycle literature.

Once again Schumpeter placed the entrepreneur at the centre of events, perhaps why it "met with a less-than-enthusiastic reception. The monumental nature of this study, which included extensive theoretical, historical, and statistical work, placed it beyond the full comprehension of most economists. Its length, combined with the rising tide of Keynesian economics, put it beyond the interests of the profession as well. Colleagues, however, could readily comprehend and respect the amount of effort and scholarly seriousness that went into the project" (ANB).

A very good copy of Schumpeter's "impressive work on business cycles" (The New Palgrave), with an interesting association: a colleague at the Dutch Central Planning Bureau of proto-Nobel laureate Jan Tinbergen, P. J. (Petrus Johannes) Verdoorn (19111982) is best known for what is now called Verdoorn's law, stated simply that productivity growth is dependent on production growth. "Writing in Italian, Verdoorn first proposed the law in an obscure Italian journal, L'Industria, in 1949. It did not receive widespread attention until Lord Kaldor discussed it in his 1966 inaugural address at Cambridge University and named it Verdoorn's law. Verdoorn isolated the close relationship between the growth of productivity and the growth of output in industry (defined as manufacturing, public utilities and construction). No, or little, relationship between output and productivity growth is evident in other sectors of the economy. This implies industry is primarily responsible for economic growth. The specification and magnitude of Verdoorn's law is controversial, but few doubt the relationship posited by Verdoorn is an empirical reality" (Fred McMahon, Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, accessible online).

As Verdoorn was involved in the study of economic growth, Schumpeter must have been important for him as one of the few important twentieth-century economists who were interested in growth, prior to the Cambridge 'growth models' of the 1960s. On Verdoorn, see The New Palgrave IV, 8046, and the Festschrift Modeling for government and business: Essays in Honor of Prof. Dr. P. J. Verdoorn (1977).

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Description

2 volumes, octavo. Original red cloth, spines ruled and lettered gilt, blindstamp border to covers.

Illustrations

With 60 charts in the text.

Condition

From the library of the Dutch economist P. J. Verdoorn, with his ownership inscription (dated April 1941), marginalia and (sometimes copious) underlining, often in red, generally confined to the first half of vol. I, some MS notes pasted to front free endpaper of vol. I. Spine ends and corners very slightly worn, upper corner of p. vii in vol. II torn away without loss; a very good copy.

Bibliography

Swedberg S.010.

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