Erik Lindahl (1891-1960)

Probably the most theoretically rigorous member of the Stockholm School, Erik Lindahl was the only member of that group who stayed wholly within academia. Although he obtained his degree at Lund and was highly influenced by Knut Wicksell, he was not Wicksell’s student.

Lindahl’s contributions to economic theory extend beyond his Wicksellian roots to embrace much of what is contained in modern Neo-Walrasian theory. Lindahl’s formulation of the concept of sequence economies and intertemporal equilibrium (1929, 1930) is by far the first rigorous attempt to do so. Lindahl’s couching of a theory of capital (1929, 1939) in intertemporal terms anticipates Malinvaud’s (1953) famous attempt.

The transfer of Lindahl’s concepts to the anglophone world was accomplished by two of his most ardent supporters, John Hicks (1939, 1965) and Friedrich Hayek (1941). Since then, his work on “sequence analysis” has been given greater emphasis since the work of Frank Hahn (1973) and Roy Radner (1972). Lindahl’s 1919 solution to the pricing of public goods is another noticeable achievement, brought into modern economic by Duncan Foley (1970).

Major works of Erik R. Lindahl

– Die Gerechtigkeit der Besteurung, 1919. (trans. as ‘Just Taxation: A positive solution’, 1958)
– Some Controversial Questions in the Theory of Taxation
– Scope and Means of Monetary Policy, two volumes, 1929 (privately published – see Lindahl, 1930)
– The Place of Capital in the Theory of Price, 1929, Ekonomisk Tidskrift
– Methods of Monetary Policy, 1930
– The Concept of Income, 1933, Essays in Honor of Gustav Cassel
– A Note on the Dynamic Pricing Problem, 1934, (published later)
– The Problem of Balancing the Budget, 1935, Ekon Tidsk
– Studies in the Theory of Money and Capital, 1939 (English translations of 1929, 1930, 1935)
– Metodfragor inom den dynamiska teorien, 1942, Ekon Tidsk
– Sweden’s Monetary Policy and Tax Policy After the War, 1943, Ekon Tidsk
– Some Aspects of the Inflation Problem, 1948, Nationalok Tidsk
– On Keynes’s Economic System, 1954, Economic Record
– Basic Concept of National Accounting, 1957, IER

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