Forum for Social Economics

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 171–189 | Cite as

Emil Lederer and Joseph Schumpeter on Economic Growth, Technology and Business Cycles

  • Panayotis G. MichaelidesEmail author
  • John Milios
  • Angelos Vouldis
  • Spyros Lapatsioras


This paper compares Joseph Schumpeter and Emil Lederer with respect to their visions concerning the notions of economic growth, technology and business cycles. Their theoretical investigations in a number of thematic areas seem to converge to similar views. More precisely, both Schumpeter and Lederer regard the capitalist economy as a dynamic system where the introduction of innovations is its distinctive characteristic. In such a system, static analysis based on the concept of equilibrium is useful as an expository device to describe the adjustment mechanisms of the economic system. They also paid attention to the emergence of large oligopolistic firms and considered this development as being interwoven with technological progress. Both economists used similar arguments to emphasize the link between economic development and technological change. In their analyses, Schumpeter and Lederer referred to psychological factors motivating the entrepreneur, in order to explain the forces that set in motion the process of innovation and thus economic development. The concept of technological unemployment is also described in a similar manner by both of them. Regarding the issue of business cycles, Schumpeter and Lederer considered them to be a result of endogenous processes within a capitalist economy. Lederer in his late works, argued in a way analogous to Schumpeter, that economic fluctuations are caused from the disruptions created by innovations, which are introduced discontinuously into the economic system. Conclusively, Schumpeter and Lederer delivered theses which are similar in scope and conclusions probably because they were developed in the same social, political, theoretical and ideological environment and were also well acquainted with each other’s ideas.


Lederer Schumpeter Economic growth Technology Business cycles 


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Copyright information

© Association for Social Economics 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panayotis G. Michaelides
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Milios
    • 1
  • Angelos Vouldis
    • 2
  • Spyros Lapatsioras
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, School of Applied Mathematics and PhysicsNational Technical University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.UADPhilEconUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of CreteRethymno, CreteGreece

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