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Lange’s 1938 model: dynamics and the “Optimum propensity to consume”


  • Michael Assous
  • Roberto Lampa


Oskar Lange’s 1938 article “The Rate of Interest and the Optimum Propensity to Consume”, is usually associated with the original IS-LM approach of the late 1930s. However, Lange’s article was not only an attempt to illuminate Keynes’s main innovations but the first part of a wide project that included the development of a theory of economic evolution. This paper aims at showing that Lange’s article can help illuminating critical aspects of this project: in particular, Lange’s idea that a synthesis between Kaldor’s and Kalecki’s theories and that of Schumpeter, might have been possible and that it represented (in intentions) a “modern” and consistent reconstruction of the Marxist theory of the business cycle. Section 1 clarifies Lange’s early reflection on dynamics. Section 2 centers on Lange’s 1938 static model and indicates the effects of a change of saving on investment. Section 3 suggests a dynamic reconstruction from which are addressed important arguments raised by Lange in a series of papers written between 1934 and 1942.

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  • Michael Assous & Roberto Lampa, 2014. "Lange’s 1938 model: dynamics and the “Optimum propensity to consume”," Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series 2014-2, Center for the History of Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hec:heccee:2014-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cristiano Antonelli & Francesco Quatraro, 2014. "The effects of biased technological changes on total factor productivity: a rejoinder and new empirical evidence," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 281-299, April.
    2. Mauro Boianovsky, 2003. "The IS-LM Model and the Liquidity Trap Concept: from Hicks to Krugman," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31th Brazilian Economics Meeting] a13, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
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    More about this item


    Lange; Kalecki; Marxian theory of the business cycle; marginal propensity to save; non-linearity;

    JEL classification:

    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • B24 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist; Scraffian
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian

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