Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 87: Micha_ Kalecki (1899–1970)
Michał Kalecki (1899–1970) Michał Kalecki is certainly one of the most enigmatic economists of the twentieth century. Besides anticipating Keynes’s General Theory (1936) he is credited with paving the way for connecting imperfect competition to business-cycle analysis, designing the first macro-dynamic model unifying mathematics, statistics, and economic theory, as well as developing a theory of the political business cycle (Lopez and Assous 2010; Toporowski 2013). Michał Kalecki was born on 22 June 1899 in Lodz into a Polish-Jewish family, and died in Warsaw on the 17 April 1970. He began mathematical studies in 1917 – going on to publish several papers in that field – at the Warsaw University and later studied civil engineering at the Gdansk University Engineering College. In 1923, because of the failure of his father’s cotton business, Kalecki interrupted his studies and decided to work for a credit rating agency. It was then that he started working on economic problems. At the same time, his socialist political inclinations led him to study Marx’s Capital (1976) as well as the works of Rosa Luxemburg and Mikhail Tugan-Baranovsky. In the late 1920s, he started contributing regularly to two Polish economics journals, denying in several articles the existence of self-correcting market mechanisms likely to eliminate mass unemployment, and arguing that the way to escape from crises was by stimulating aggregate demand. Thanks to his mathematical and economics background, Kalecki obtained his first academic job at the Institute for the Study of Business Cycles and Prices in late 1929. His task...
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