Ludwig Lachmann

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Ludwig Lachmann
Ludwig lachman.jpg
Born (1906-02-01)1 February 1906
Berlin, German Empire
Died 17 December 1990(1990-12-17) (aged 84)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality German
School/tradition Austrian School
Influences Friedrich Hayek
Influenced Bruce Caldwell

Ludwig Maurits Lachmann (German: [ˈlaχman]; 1906–1990) was a German economist who became a member of and important contributor to the Austrian School of economics.

Education and career[edit]

Lachmann earned his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin, where he was enrolled as a graduate student from 1924 to 1933. He first became interested in Austrian economics while spending the summer of 1926 at the University of Zurich. Due to Adolf Hitler's rise to power, Lachmann moved to England from Germany in 1933; it was when he was at the London School of Economics (LSE) in the 1930s as a student and colleague of Friedrich Hayek that he further developed his interest in the Austrian School. In 1948, he moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he accepted a professorship at the University of the Witwatersrand where he remained until retirement in 1972.[1] He served as president of the Economic Society of South Africa from 1961 to 1963. Between the years of 1974 and 1987, Lachmann regularly traveled to New York City where he collaborated on research with Israel Kirzner intended to reinvigorate the Austrian school. One result of this collaboration was the Austrian Economics Seminar, organized by Lachmann, at New York University from 1985 to 1987.[2]

Lachmann on economics[edit]

He grew to believe that the Austrian School had deviated from Carl Menger's original vision of an entirely subjective economics. To Lachmann, Austrian Theory was to be characterized as an evolutionary, or "genetic-causal" approach, as opposed to the equilibrium and perfect knowledge models used in mainstream Neoclassical economics.

Lachmann's "fundamentalist Austrianism" was rare—few living Austrian economists saw their work as departing from the mainstream. He underscored what he viewed as distinctive from that mainstream: economic subjectivism, imperfect knowledge, the heterogeneity of capital, the business cycle, methodological individualism, alternative cost and "market process". His brand of Austrianism now forms the basis for the "radical subjectivist" strand of Austrian Economics.

His work was highly influential upon later, American developments of the Austrian School.[2]

To commemorate Lachmann, his widow established a trust to fund the Ludwig M. Lachmann Research Fellowship at the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method of the LSE.[3]

He was also a strong advocate of using hermeneutic methods in the study of economic phenomena.[2]

Lachmann and contemporary social science research[edit]

Lachmann's ideas continue to influence contemporary social science research. Many social scientific disciplines explicitly or implicitly build on "radical subjectivist" Austrian Economics.

Books[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Corfield, Justin (2010). "Lachmann, Ludwig Maurits". In Ciment, James. Booms and Busts : an encyclopedia of economic history from Tulipmania of the 1630s to the global financial crisis of the 21st century. Sharpe. pp. 459–460. ISBN 9780765682246. 
  1. ^ Lewin, Peter. "Ludwig Lachmann (1906–1990): Life and Work." Mises.org. [1]
  2. ^ a b c Corfield, Justin (2010). "Lachmann, Ludwig Maurits". In Ciment, James. Booms and Busts : an encyclopedia of economic history from Tulipmania of the 1630s to the global financial crisis of the 21st century. Sharpe. pp. 459–460. ISBN 9780765682246. 
  3. ^ "Ludwig M Lachmann Research Fellowship." Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. London School of Economics. [2]

External links[edit]