Knut Wicksell

Knut Wicksell taught at the University of Lund until his retirement in 1916. He was a Swedish economist whose work led to the widespread use of the word “natural” to explain the long-run equilibrium rate of interest. Wicksell had a tremendous influence on economist James M. Buchanan. According to Buchanan, his theory of public choice ‘was an almost natural consequence of my absorption of the Wicksellian message’, which stated that economists must cease acting as if government were a benevolent despot.

Wicksell was a Malthusian and a strong advocate of birth control. He spoke out on moral issues quite often. He is best known for his work in ‘Interest and Prices’, in which he laid out his version of the quantity theory of money. His version was different from the standard view at that time in that he looked at the indirect effect that the money supply has on prices.

Wicksell also elaborated on the theory of marginal productivity, which states that the payment to each factor of production equals that factors marginal productivity. He also stated that an efficient allocation of resources does not guarantee equitable distribution, because the preexisting distribution of income determines what form this allocation will take, and the preexisting distributionof income is not always just. The Stockholm School developed its own version of macroeconomics, which was based on Wicksell’s work on quantity and price theory.

Major Works of Knut Wicksell

– Value, Capital and Rent, 1893
– Finanztheoretische Untersuchungen nebst Darstellung und Kritik des Steuerwesens Schwedens, 1896
– Pareto’s Cours d’économie politique, I, 1897
– Interest and Prices, 1898
– Mål och medel i nationalekonomien, 1904, Ekon Tidskrift
– Penningräntans inflytande på varuprisen, 1899
– Om överflyttning av skatt, 1899, Ekon Tidskrift
– Pareto’s Cours d’Économie Politique, II, 1899
– Om gränsproduktiviteten såsom grundval för den nationalekonomiska fördelningen, 1900, Ekon Tidskrift (trans: Marginal Productivity as the Basis for Economic Distribution, 1958)
– Lectures on Political Economy , two volumes, 1901-6
– Till fördelningsproblemet, 1902, Ekon Tidskrift (trans: On the Problem of Distribution, 1958)
– The Enigma of Business Cycles, 1907, Stasokonomisk Tidsskrift
– The Influence of the Rate of Interest on Prices, 1907, EJ
– Böhm-Bawerks kapitalteori och kritiken därav, 1911, Ekon Tidskrift
– Pareto’s Manuel d’économie politique, 1913
– Kan ett land få för litet folk?, 1914, Ekon Tidskrift
– Den ‘kritiska punkten’ i lagen om jordbrukets avtagande produktivitet, 1916, Ekon Tidskrift
– Växelkursernas gåta, 1919, Ekon Tidskrift
– Inkomstbegreppet i skattehänseende och därmed sammanhängande skattefrågor, 1922, Ekon Tidskrift
– Real Capital and Interest, 1923, Ekon Tidskrift
– Mengers Grundsätze i ny upplaga, 1924, Ekon Tidskrift
– Ett skolexempel i tullfrågan, 1925, Ekon Tidskrift
– Matematisk nationalekonomi, 1925, Ekon Tidskrift
– Selected Papers on Economic Theory, 1958

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