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Gottfried von Haberler, 1900-1995

Portrait of G. Haberler

Austrian economic theorist.

Although taught by Wieser and von Mises and later a professor at Vienna, Gottfried Haberler was a product of the Austrian School but not exactly a doctrinaire follower of Austrian theory. In 1936, Haberler moved to Harvard where, together with Schumpeter and Leontief, he would teach the "golden generation" of  Harvard economists.

Haberler's two major works - Theory of International Trade (1936) and Prosperity and Depression (1937) - were hailed as masterly tomes which, for the first time in either field, drew together numerous scattered ideas into a single theoretical treatment which was both encyclopaedic and rigorous. 

Haberler's 1936 work on international trade theory was complemented by several articles which sought to place the theory of comparative advantage on both a positive and normative basis.  Haberler's rewriting of the theory of comparative advantage in terms of opportunity cost, rather than real cost, led to a long debate with Jacob Viner.

Haberler's 1937 review of business cycle theory contains a sizzling critique of Keynes's General Theory, followed up by his equally unsympathetic 1946 and 1962 reviews of the same. He was an unreconstructed proponent of  over-investment theories of the cycle, like that of Hayek.

Haberler was also addicted to policy. From the beginning, he was a constant advocate of both free trade and flexible exchange rates as well as arguing the Monetarist line on internal government policy. In 1971, Haberler left Harvard to become a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute together with his old schoolmate Fritz Machlup. His neo-liberal policy prescriptions became the hallmark of that institution.



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Major works of Gottfried Haberler

  • Der Sinn der indexzahlen, 1927.
  • "Irving Fisher's Theory of Interest", 1931, QJE.
  • "Money and the Business Cycle", 1932, in Wright, editor, Gold and Monetary Stabilization  
  • Der Internationale Handel, 1933.
  • The Theory of International Trade, 1936.
  • "Mr Keynes' Theory of the Multiplier", 1936, ZfN
  • Prosperity and Depression: A theoretical analysis of cyclical movements, 1937.
  • "The General Theory After Ten Years", 1947, in Harris, editor, The New Economics.
  • "Sixteen Years Later", 1962, in Lekachman, editor, Keynes's General Theory.
  • "The Market for Foreign Exchange and the Stability of the Balance of Payments", 1949, Kyklos.
  • "Some Problems in the Pure Theory of International Trade", 1950, EJ.
  • "The Pigou Effect Once More", 1952, JPE.
  • "Sixteen Years Later", 1963, in Lekachman, editor, Keynes' General Theory
  • "Integration and Growth of the World Economy in perspective", 1964, AER.
  • Money in the International Economy, 1965.
  • Inflation: Its causes and cures, 1966.
  • "Monetary and Fiscal Policy for Economic Stability and Growth", 1967, Il Politico.
  • "Theoretical Reflections on the Trade of Socialist Countries", 1968, in Brown and Neuberger, editors, International Trade and Central Planning.
  • Incomes Policy and Inflation, 1971.
  • Economic Growth and Stability, 1974.
  • Two Essays on the Future of the International Monetary Order, 1974.
  • The World Economy and the Great Depression, 1976.



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Resources on Gottfried von Haberler

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