Profile Major Works Resources

Ludwig M. Lachmann, 1906-1990.

Portrait of L.M. Lachmann

German Austrian School economist.

The German economist Ludwig Lachmann was trained in the German Historical tradition, obtaining his degree at the University of Berlin under Werner Sombart in 1930.  With the ascent of the Nazis in 1933, Lachmann left Germany, and emigrated to England, enrolling at the London School of Economics (L.S.E).   At the LSE, Lachmann quickly came under the spell of  Friedrich Hayek and firm convert to the Austrian School.  A research fellowship allowed him to visit the United States, where Lachmann attended Knight's seminar at Chicago.  In 1943, Lachmann taught economics at the Univeristy of Hull (UK).  In 1948, Lachmann moved to the Republic of South Africa, to take up a position as professor of economics at the University of Witswatersrand, a position he would hold until his retirement.  In the latter part of his career, he taught the occasional semester at NYU.

Devoutly dedicated to Menger's original vision of an entirely subjective economics, Lachmann attempted to detach the Austrian paradigm from its Walrasian and Jevonian companions. His early training at the hands of Werner Sombart and his prediliction for Weber had a methodological effect: Austrian Theory, Lachmann concluded, was to be characterized as a "genetic-causal" approach, a "verstende" view of social science to be wrought against the mathematical-functional, equilibrium, perfect- foresight approach of mainstream Neoclassical economics.

The "fundentalist Austrianism" of Lachmann was unique at the time - none of the then living Austrian economists really acknowledged their work to be as different from the mainstream as Lachmann claimed. But his work stressed all the points he thought distinctive: subjectivism, expectations, uncertainty, the Hayekian cycle, time-defined capital, methodological individualism, alternative cost and, above all, "market process". Although Lachmann was effectively "exiled" from economics while at Witwatersrand in South Africa, his work was highly influential upon the later "American branch" of the Austrian School. His work on capital theory (1956) resonates issues which were soon to be taken up in the Cambridge Capital Controversy.



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Major works of Ludwig M. Lachmann

  • "Commodity Stocks and Equilibrium", 1936, RES.
  • "Preiserwartungen und intertemporales gleichgewicht", 1937, ZfN.
  • "Uncertainty and Liquidity Preference", 1937, Economica.
  • "A Reconsideration of the Austrian Theory of Industrial Fluctuations", 1940, Economica.
  • "On the Measurement of Capital", 1941, Economica.
  • "The Role of Expectations in Economics as a Social Science", 1943, Economica
  • "A Note on the Elasticity of Expectations", 1945, Economica.
  • "Complementarity and Substitution in the Theory of Capital", 1947, Economica.
  • "Investment Repercussions", 1948, QJE.
  • "Economics as a Social Science", 1950, South African JE.
  • "The Science of Human Action: Review of Mises", 1951, Economica.
  • "Some Notes on Economic Thought, 1933-1953", 1954, South African JE.
  • Capital and Its Structure, 1956 [lib]
  • "The Market Economy and the Distribution of Wealth", 1956, in Sennholz, editor, On Freedom and Free Enterprise.
  • "Mrs. Robinson on the Accumulation of Capital", 1958, South African JE.
  • "Professor Shackle on the Economic Significance of Time", 1959, Metroeconomica.
  • "Cultivated Growth and the Market Economy", 1963, South African JE.
  • "The Significance of the Austrian School of Economics in the History of Ideas", 1966, ZfN.
  • "Sir John Hicks on Capital and Growth", 1966, South African JE.
  • "Model Constructions and the Market Economy", 1966, Ordo.
  • "Causes and Consequences of the Inflation in Our Time", 1967, South African JE.
  • "Methodological Individualism and the Market Economy", 1969, in Streissler et al, editors, Roads to Freedom.
  • "Ludwig von Mises and the Market Process", 1971, in Hayek, editor, Toward Liberty.
  • The Legacy of Max Weber, 1971.
  • "Sir John Hicks as a Neo-Austrian", 1973, South African JE.
  • Macro-economic Thinking and the Market Economy, 1973.
  • "On the Central Concept of Austrian Economics: Market Process", 1976, in Dolan, editor, The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics. [lib]
  • "On Austrian Capital Theory", 1976, in Dolan, editor, The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics. [lib]
  • "Austrian Economics in the Age of the Neo-Ricardian Counterrevolution", 1976, in Dolan, editor, The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics. [lib]
  • "From Mises to Shackle", 1976, JEL.
  • Capital, Expectations and the Market Process, 1977. [lib]
  • "An Austrian Stocktaking: unsettled questions and tentative answers", 1978, in L.M. Spadaro, New Directions in Austrian Economics [lib]
  • "The Salvage of Ideas : problems of the revival of Austrian economic thought", 1982, Zeitschrift für die Gesammte Staatswissenschaft
  • "Ludwig von Mises and the extension of subjectivism", 1982, in Kirzner, editor, Method, process and Austrian economics
  • "John Maynard Keynes : a view from an Austrian window", 1983, South African JE.
  • " The Monetary System of a Market Economy", 1986, South African JE
  • The Market as an Economic Process, 1986.
  • "Austrian economics under fire : the Hayek-Sraffa duel in retrospect", 1986, in Grassl and Smith, editors, Austrian Economics
  • "G.L.S Shackle's Place in the History of Subjectivist Thought", 1990, in Frown, editor, Unknowledge and Choice in Economics
  • "Austrian economics : a hermeneutic approach", 1990, in Lavoie, Economics and Hermeneutics
  • "Socialism and the Market: a theme of economic sociology viewed from a Weberian perspective", 1992, South African JE.
  • Expectations and the meaning of institutions: essays in economics by Ludwig Lachmann, 1994 (ed. Don Lavoie), [pdf]




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Resources on Ludwig Lachmann

  • Ludwig Lachmann page at LibertyFund
  • "Ludwig Lachmann (1906-1990): Life and Work" by Peter Lewin at von Mises Institute [mis]
  • "Interview with Ludwig Lachmann", 1978, AEN [mis]
  • "The Kaleidic World of Ludwig Lachmann" by Roger Garrison, in Critical Review, 1983 [online]
  • "Ludwig Lachmann: A reminiscence" by Bruce Caldwell, 1991, Critical Review [pdf]
  • "Ludwig Lachmann and his contributions to economic science" by Peter Boettke, 1994 [pdf]
  • "The Lachmann Legacy: An Agenda for Macroeconomics", by Roger Garrison, 1997, SAJE [online]
  • "Ludwig Lachmann: A belated appreciation" by D.J. Boudreaux, 2012, Freeman [online]
  • Subjectivism and Economic Analysis: Essays in memory of Ludwig Lachmann 1998, (G. Monjiovi and R. Kopple, editors) [pdf]
  • Ludwig Lachmann's lectures "History of the Austrian School" at Univ Colorado, 1977 [video]
  •  Wikipedia


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