Economic Sociology of Capitalist Development
Edited by Yuichi Shionoya and Tamotsu Nishizawa
Chapter 3: Schumpeter on Marshall: A Reconsideration
* Roger E. Backhouse 3.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter examines Schumpeter’s attitude to the work of Alfred Marshall, an economist with whose ideas he engaged throughout his career, from his ﬁrst book, Das Wesen und der Hauptinhalt der theoretischen Nationalökonomie (1908) to his posthumously published History of Economic Analysis (1954a). Although he was at times critical of Marshall, and did not heap on him the exaggerated praise he reserved for Antoine Cournot and Léon Walras, he nonetheless considered him one of the four greatest economists ever. The details of his attitude towards Marshall are of interest because Marshall’s way of doing economics was not Schumpeter’s, and because, late in Schumpeter’s life, his attitude towards Marshall became entangled, so it will be argued, with his attitude towards other members of the Cambridge school. Schumpeter’s attitude towards Marshall has received comparatively little attention. There are brief remarks made in the context of much broader studies (for example, Shionoya, 1997). Awan (1986) has compared their views of evolution, but this is comparatively narrow and fails to explore Schumpeter’s attitude towards the Marshallian system as a whole. Feiwel (1986) brieﬂy explores Schumpeter’s view of Marshall alongside his views of Walras and subsequent developments in economic theory. The one general study is Duval (2002). This takes as its starting point the historiographic perspective of the History of Economic Analysis and concludes that had Schumpeter adopted a relativist historiography, he might have been able to see more clearly where and how Marshall went beyond Walras...
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