Arthur Spiethoff, 1873-1957

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Portrait of A. Spiethoff

A student of Gustav Schmoller, Arthur Spiethoff is one of the few members of the German Historical School to make a substantial impact on mainstream economics. This impact was in the field of business cycle theory. Spiethoff's theory of cycles (1902, 1903, 1923) built upon that of Tugan-Baranovsky's overinvestment theory and nudged the theory along by giving credit, the heart of the overinvestment theory, an endogenous character through innovation. Spiethoff's theory was later used with much profit by Schumpeter and Cassel.

Spiethoff also participated in the Methodenstreit that pitted the German Historical School against the Austrian School. Although his famous "economic styles" argument was for a reconciliation between the theoretical and empirical methods, his heart was inevitably on the side of the German Historical School (1932, 1952, 1953).

Major works of Arthur Spiethoff

Resources on Spiethoff

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