JOHANNSEN, Nicolas August Ludwig Jacob. J. J. O. Lahn, pseud.

Der Kreislauf des Geldes und Mechanismus des Sozial-Lebens.

Berlin: Puttkammer & Mühlbrecht, 1903 Stock Code: 148670
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An unsung influence on Keynes

First edition, published five years later in English as A Neglected Point in Connection with Crises (the edition read by Keynes), of "Johannsen's earliest outline of his monetary theory of production, one of the most important preludes to the General Theory, and the earliest analysis of what became the core of Schumpeter's theory of economic development: the Kreislauf, or circular flow" (Henry W. Spiegel in The New Palgrave).

Johannsen (1844-1928) "was a brilliant outsider with insights into theoretical economics that were ahead of his time His work in economics illustrates that important advances are often made by outsiders who do not suffer from the limitations of the export" (ibid.). Born in Germany but spending much of his life in New York where he worked in the import-export business, he often used pseudonyms to hide his unorthodox opinions from his employers. In this work he "developed a view of the economy in terms of circular flows of money and economic activities portrayed in the form of a wheel-of-wealth diagram. This was not the first attempt of this kind, but was perhaps the first to provide a complete statistical underpinning" (ibid.). Though Keynes wrote dismissively of him in the Treatise on Money, referring to him as a "crank" in a footnote, and did not mention him at all all in his General Theory, Johannsen in fact anticipated many of Keynes's ideas, notably in his discussion of the saving-investment relationship and of fluctuations in investment as the strategic factor in business cycles.

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Octavo. Original red diagonally-ribbed cloth, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, triple frame to covers in blind, floral endpapers.


Folding colour chart including the "Wheel-of-wealth" diagram tipped in to front pastedown as issued.


Spine ends and tips lightly rubbed, partial ownership stamp to front free endpaper, paperstock lightly toned as usual; a very good copy.


The New Palgrave II, pp. 1019-20. See Dorfman, The economic Mind in American Civilization 3, p. 408ff.


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