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The Baltic Exchange: Mutual Influences between Economists in the German and Swedish Language Areas

Authors
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Literature

Abstract

In the 19th and 20th centuries economists of the German and Swedish language areas strongly influenced each other and made significant contributions to the development and critique of neoclassical economics. In our paper, we focus on the prominent contributions of Wicksell, Cassel, Hayek and Myrdal, but consider also others, such as Lutz, Neisser, Palander and Schneider. It might look far fetched to describe their interaction as a “Baltic exchange”, since (for example) Vienna is not part of that region. But history and geographical proximity made German the scientific language for Scandinavian academics in the 19th century, helping Swedish economists to spread their ideas widely on the Continent, before they made an impact in the English language area. Much of the interaction happened indeed close to the Baltic Sea. In the paper we discuss the German influence on Swedish economics that occurred mainly before the First World War, and the Swedish influence on German economics, mainly thereafter. We provide biographical, bibliographical and textual evidence for an exchange of ideas that has stimulated the development of economics far beyond the Baltic Sea.

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