Ludwig M. Lachmann, 1906-1990.

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Portrait of L.M. Lachmann

The German economist, Ludwig Lachmann, was a product of the 1930s L.S.E. - but an extreme product. Of the mixed "Continental" fare that the LSE offered, Lachmann took the Austrian School paradigm and ran with it. Devoutly dedicated to Menger's original vision of an entirely subjective economics, Lachmann attempted to detach the Austrian paradigm from its Walrasian and Jevonian companions. His early training at the hands of Werner Sombart and his prediliction for Weber had a methodological effect: Austrian Theory, Lachmann concluded, was to be characterized as a "genetic-causal" approach, a "verstende" view of social science to be wrought against the mathematical-functional, equilibrium, perfect- foresight approach of mainstream Neoclassical economics.

The "fundentalist Austrianism" of Lachmann was unique at the time - none of the then living Austrian economists really acknowledged their work to be as different from the mainstream as Lachmann claimed. But his work stressed all the points he thought distinctive: subjectivism, expectations, uncertainty, the Hayekian cycle, time-defined capital, methodological individualism, alternative cost and, above all, "market process". Although Lachmann was effectively "exiled" from economics while at Witwatersrand in South Africa, his work was highly influential upon the later "American branch" of the Austrian School. His work on capital theory (1956) resonates issues which were soon to be taken up in the Cambridge Capital Controversy.

Major works of Ludwig M. Lachmann

Resources on Ludwig Lachmann


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