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Schumpeter and the `Schmollerprogramm': integrating theory and history in the analysis of economic development


  • Alexander Ebner

    () (Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universit, t, Postfach 11 19 32, Fach 62, D-60054 Frankfurt a.M., Germany)


This essay addresses the historical and institutional aspects of Schumpeter's thought. It suggests that Schumpeter prepared a pluralist research agenda, formulated in accordance with the conceptual perspective of the German Historical School, as presented by major scholars such as Schmoller, Sombart, Spiethoff and Max Weber. Schumpeter's notion of development, with its emphasis on the correspondence of economic and socio-cultural evolution, is therefore to be viewed in the context of the comprehensive Schmollerian approach. Moreover the ethical-evolutionary components of Schmoller's ideas point at the vital role of the German Historical School in the elaboration of a modern evolutionary economics in Schumpeterian terms. The essay concludes that the Schmollerprogramm is going to inspire further developments in Schumpeterian economics, as the integration of theory and history continuously marks the research agenda of evolutionary approaches to economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Ebner, 2000. "Schumpeter and the `Schmollerprogramm': integrating theory and history in the analysis of economic development," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 355-372.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:10:y:2000:i:3:p:355-372

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    Cited by:

    1. Malcolm Rutherford, 2001. "Institutional Economics: Then and Now," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 173-194, Summer.
    2. Janne Kurtakko, 2014. "Schumpeter's Challenge to Economists: History, Theory, and Statistics as Key Competencies and Sociology as a Vision for the Future," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(1), pages 32-57, January.
    3. Madarász, Aladár, 2008. "Visszatérhet-e a "nagy elmélet" a közgazdaságtanban?. Megjegyzések a rendszerparadigma elmélettörténetéhez
      [Can the grand theory" return to economics?. Notes on the theoretical histo
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 95-106.
    4. Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Milios, John G., 2005. "The Influence of the German Historical School on Schumpeter," MPRA Paper 74471, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    History of economic thought - German Historical School - Schmoller program - Schumpeter - Schumpeterian economics - Methodology - Historical theory - Economic evolution - Development;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General


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