Abba P. Lerner (1903–1982)

  • Warren YoungEmail author
  • Daniel SchiffmanEmail author
  • Yaron ZelekhaEmail author


Young, Schiffman, and Zelekha deal with the LSE-based contributions of Abba Lerner to economics over the half-century 1932–1982. These include his writings on micro- and trade theory, socialist economics and the economics of Keynes in the 1930s; his influential book, The Economics of Control, and the notion of ‘functional finance’, and research on inflation, employment theory and policy in the 1940s and post-war period; his ongoing work on these topics in the 1950s and 1960s; and revision of his views in the 1970s after the failure of Keynesian economics to explain stagflation. All of these writings were characterised by the eclectic approach that Lerner absorbed as an undergraduate, graduate student and junior faculty member at LSE.


Monopoly power Factor price equalisation Functional finance Keynesian Socialist calculation 


Main and Cited Works by Abba Lerner

  1. Lerner, A.P. (1932). ‘The Diagrammatical Representation of Cost Conditions in International Trade’. Economica, 37(August): 346–356.Google Scholar
  2. Lerner, A.P. (1933a). ‘The Diagrammatical Representation of Elasticity of Demand’. Review of Economic Studies, 1(1): 39–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lerner, A.P. (1933b). ‘II.—The Diagrammatical Representation [of the Elasticity of Substitution]’. Review of Economic Studies, 1(1): 68–71.Google Scholar
  4. Lerner, A.P. (1934a). ‘The Diagrammatical Representation of Demand Conditions in International Trade’. Economica, New Series, 1(3): 319–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lerner, A.P. (1934b). ‘The Concept of Monopoly and the Measurement of Monopoly Power’. Review of Economic Studies, 1(3): 157–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lerner, A.P. (1934c). ‘Economic Theory and Socialist Economy’. Review of Economic Studies, 2(1): 51–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lerner, A.P. (1934d). ‘II. [A Note on the Elasticity of Substitution]’. Review of Economic Studies, 1(2): 147–148.Google Scholar
  8. Lerner, A.P. (1934e). ‘The Concept of Arc Elasticity of Demand’. Review of Economic Studies, 1(3): 229–230.Google Scholar
  9. Lerner, A.P. (1935a). ‘Economic Theory and Socialist Economy: A Rejoinder’. Review of Economic Studies, 2(2): 152–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lerner, A.P. (1935b). ‘A Note on the Theory of Price Index Numbers’. Review of Economic Studies, 3(1): 50–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lerner, A.P. (1936a). ‘The Symmetry between Import and Export Taxes’. Economica, New Series, 3(11): 306–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lerner, A.P. (1936b). ‘A Note on Socialist Economics’. Review of Economic Studies, 4(1): 72–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lerner, A.P. (1936c). ‘Mr. Keynes’ “General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”’. International Labour Review, 34(4): 435–454.Google Scholar
  14. Lerner, A.P. (1937a). ‘Statics and Dynamics in Socialist Economics’. Economic Journal, 47(186): 253–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lerner, A.P. (1937b). ‘Report of the Oxford Meeting, September 25–29, 1936 [International Trade and Transfer]’. Econometrica, 5(4): 371–372.Google Scholar
  16. Lerner, A.P. (1938a). ‘Theory and Practice in Socialist Economics’. Review of Economic Studies, 6(1): 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lerner, A.P. (1938b). ‘Saving Equals Investment’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 52(2): 297–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lerner, A.P. (1938c). ‘An Undialectical Account of Dialectics’. Science & Society, 2(2): 232–242.Google Scholar
  19. Lerner, A.P. (1938d). ‘Alternative Formulations of the Theory of Interest’. Economic Journal, 48(190): 211–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lerner, A.P. (1939a). ‘From Vulgar Political Economy to Vulgar Marxism’. Journal of Political Economy, 47(4): 557–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lerner, A.P. (1939b). ‘Saving and Investment: Definitions, Assumptions, Objectives’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 53(4): 611–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lerner, A.P. (1939c). ‘Ex-Ante Analysis and Wage Theory’. Economica, New Series, 6(24): 436–449.Google Scholar
  23. Lerner, A.P. (1939d). ‘Report of the Detroit Meeting, December 27–30, 1938 [Equilibrium and Dynamic Concepts in the Theory of Employment]’. Econometrica, 7(2): 186–187.Google Scholar
  24. Lerner, A.P. (1939e). ‘The Relation of Wage Policies and Price Policies’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 29(1): 158–169.Google Scholar
  25. Lerner, A.P. (1939f). ‘Budgetary Principles’. Report of Fifth Annual Research Conference on Economics and Statistics held at Colorado Springs. Cowles Commission for Research in Economics. 3–28 July. Chicago: University of Chicago: 38–39.Google Scholar
  26. Lerner, A.P. (1940a). ‘Professor Hicks’ Dynamics’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 54(2): 298–306.Google Scholar
  27. Lerner, A.P. (1940b). ‘[“Vulgar Economics” and “Vulgar Marxism”] A Further Note’. Journal of Political Economy, 48(2): 258–260.Google Scholar
  28. Lerner, A.P. (1940c). ‘Some Swedish Stepping Stones in Economic Theory’. Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 6(4): 574–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lerner, A.P. (1941). ‘The Economic Steering Wheel’. University Review (Missouri), 7(4): 257–265.Google Scholar
  30. Lerner, A.P. (1942). ‘Design for a Streamlined War Economy’. RAND Memo, circulated February 1949. Reprinted in History of Political Economy, 2013, 45(4): 623–645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lerner, A.P. (1943a). ‘Economic Liberalism in the Postwar World’. Chapter 7 in S.E. Harris (ed.) Postwar Economic Problems. New York: McGraw-Hill: 127–139.Google Scholar
  32. Lerner, A.P. (1943b). ‘Functional Finance and the Federal Debt’. Social Research, 10(1): 38–51.Google Scholar
  33. Lerner, A.P. (1944a). ‘Interest Theory—Supply and Demand for Loans or Supply and Demand for Cash’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 26(2): 88–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lerner, A.P. (1944b). The Economics of Control: Principles of Welfare Economics. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  35. Lerner, A.P. (1945a). ‘Government Spending, Public Debt, and Postwar Taxation’. International Postwar Problems, 2: 13–24.Google Scholar
  36. Lerner, A.P. (1945b). ‘Marxism and Economics: Sweezy and Robinson’. Journal of Political Economy, 53(1): 79–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lerner, A.P. (1945c). ‘Planning and Freedom’. International Postwar Problems, 2: 308–319.Google Scholar
  38. Lerner, A.P. (1946a). ‘An Integrated Full Employment Policy’. In A.P. Lerner and F.D. Graham (eds) Planning and Paying for Full Employment. Princeton: Princeton University Press: 163–220.Google Scholar
  39. Lerner, A.P. (1946b). ‘Monetary Policy and Fiscal Policy’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 28(2): 77–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lerner, A.P. (1946c). ‘The Problem of “Full Employment”—Discussion’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 36(2): 330–335.Google Scholar
  41. Lerner, A.P. (1946d). ‘How to Keep the Peace’. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2(5–6): 3–4.Google Scholar
  42. Lerner, A.P. (1947). ‘Money as a Creature of the State’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 37(2): 312–317.Google Scholar
  43. Lerner, A.P. (1948a). ‘The Burden of the National Debt’. Part 3, Chapter II in L. Metzler et al. (eds) Income, Employment and Public Policy: Essays in Honor of Alvin H. Hansen. New York: Norton: 255–275.Google Scholar
  44. Lerner, A.P. (1948b). ‘Rising Prices’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 30(1): 24–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lerner, A.P. (1949a). ‘The Inflationary Process—1. Some Theoretical Aspects’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 31(3): 193–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lerner, A.P. (1949b). Notes on the Price Mechanism. RAND Mimeo, D(L)-663, 12, October.Google Scholar
  47. Lerner, A.P. (1949c). ‘Does Control of Atomic Energy Involve a Controlled Economy?’. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 5(1): 15–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lerner, A.P. (1949d). The Replacement Problem. RAND Mimeo, D(L)-642, 17, September.Google Scholar
  49. Lerner, A.P. (1949e). ‘A Note Suggested by Samuelson’s “Market Mechanism and Maximization”’ (On Minimum Cost Diet). RAND Mimeo (Linear Programming Conference), June.Google Scholar
  50. Lerner, A.P. (1951a). ‘[Report of the Varese Meeting, September 6–8, 1950] Wage Policy in Full Employment’. Econometrica, 19(2): 210–212.Google Scholar
  51. Lerner, A.P. (1951b). Economics of Employment. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  52. Lerner, A.P. (1951c). ‘Fighting Inflation’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 33(3): 194–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lerner, A.P. (1952a). ‘Factor Prices and International Trade’. Economica, New Series, 19(73): 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lerner, A.P. (1952b). ‘The Essential Properties of Interest and Money’. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 66(2): 172–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lerner, A.P. (1953a). ‘On the Marginal Product of Capital and the Marginal Efficiency of Investment’. Journal of Political Economy, 61(1): 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lerner, A.P. (1953b). Essays in Economic Analysis. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  57. Lerner, A.P. (1953c). ‘Should We Break Our Biggest Monopoly?’. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 9(4): 109–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lerner, A.P. (1953d). ‘Discussion on Social Choice Functions’. Econometrica, 21(3): 482.Google Scholar
  59. Lerner, A.P. (1957). ‘Review of The Accumulation of Capital, by J.V. Robinson’. American Economic Review, 47(5): 693–699.Google Scholar
  60. Lerner, A.P. (1958a). ‘Immigration, Capital Formation, and Inflationary Pressure’. Chapter 3 in B. Thomas (ed.) The Economics of International Migration. London: Macmillan: 52–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Lerner, A.P. (1958b). ‘Halting the Current Recession: A Proposal for Dealing with “Sellers’” Inflation’. Commentary, February: 110–117.Google Scholar
  62. Lerner, A.P. (1958c). ‘Inflationary Depression and the Regulation of Administered Prices’. Compendium of Papers Submitted by Panelists Appearing before the Joint Economic Committee. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office: 257–268.Google Scholar
  63. Lerner, A.P. (1959a). ‘Consumption-Loan Interest and Money’. Journal of Political Economy, 67(5): 512–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Lerner, A.P. (1959b). ‘Statement to Joint Economic Committee of the Senate for the Study of Employment, Growth and Price Levels’. 24 September.Google Scholar
  65. Lerner, A.P. (1960a). ‘Economics and the Control of Man—The Case of the Economist’. American Scholar, 29(3): 377–385.Google Scholar
  66. Lerner, A.P. (1960b). ‘On Generalizing the General Theory’. American Economic Review, 50(1): 121–143.Google Scholar
  67. Lerner, A.P. (1960c). ‘Review of The Failure of the “New Economics”, by H. Hazlitt’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 42(2): 234–235.Google Scholar
  68. Lerner, A.P. (1961a). ‘Discussion on “The General Theory After Twenty-Five Years” by H. Johnson’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 51(2): 20–23.Google Scholar
  69. Lerner, A.P. (1961b). ‘The Burden of Debt’. Review of Economics and Statistics, 43(2): 139–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Lerner, A.P. (1961c). ‘A Note on the Rate of Interest and the Value of Assets’. Economic Journal, 71(283): 539–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Lerner, A.P. (1962a). Everybody’s Business. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Lerner, A.P. (1962b). ‘Review of A Program for Monetary Stability, by M. Friedman’. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 57(297): 211–220.Google Scholar
  73. Lerner, A.P. (1962c). ‘Own Rates and the Liquidity Trap’. Economic Journal, 72(286): 449–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Lerner, A.P. (1962d). ‘The Analysis of Demand’. American Economic Review, 52(4): 783–797.Google Scholar
  75. Lerner, A.P. (1963a). ‘Sellers’ Inflation and Administered Depression’. Administered Prices: A Compendium on Public Policy. Sub-Committee on Antitrust and Monopoly of the Committee on the Judiciary. US Senate, 88th Congress, 1st Session: 196–212.Google Scholar
  76. Lerner, A.P. (1963b). ‘Discussion of Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy: A Re-Examination of Their Interrelationship’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 53(2): 401–407.Google Scholar
  77. Lerner, A.P. (1963c). ‘Consumer’s Surplus and Micro-Macro’. Journal of Political Economy, 71(1): 76–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Lerner, A.P. (1964a). ‘Testimony before House Banking and Currency Committee’. The Federal Reserve System After Fifty Years. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  79. Lerner, A.P. (1964b). ‘Keynesian Economics in the Sixties’. In R. Lekachman (ed.) Keynes’ General Theory: Reports of Three Decades. London: Macmillan: 203–222.Google Scholar
  80. Lerner, A.P. (1964c). ‘Conflicting Principles of Public Utility Price Regulation’. Journal of Law and Economics, 7(October): 61–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Lerner, A.P. (1965). ‘On Some Recent Developments in Capital Theory’. American Economic Review, 55(1–2): 284–295.Google Scholar
  82. Lerner, A.P. (1967). ‘Employment Theory and Employment Policy’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 57(2): 1–18.Google Scholar
  83. Lerner, A.P. (1970). ‘Consumer’s Surplus and Micro-Macro: A Reply’. Journal of Political Economy, 78(1): 135–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Lerner, A.P. (1972a). ‘The Economics and Politics of Consumer Sovereignty’. American Economic Review, 62(1–2): 258–266.Google Scholar
  85. Lerner, A.P. (1972b). ‘Pollution Abatement Subsidies’. American Economic Review, 62(5): 1009–1010.Google Scholar
  86. Lerner, A.P. (1974a). ‘From The Treatise on Money to The General Theory’. Journal of Economic Literature, 12(1): 38–42.Google Scholar
  87. Lerner, A.P. (1974b). ‘Money, Debt, and Wealth’. Chapter 12 in W. Sellekaerts (ed.) Econometrics and Economic Theory: Essays in Honour of Jan Tinbergen. London: Macmillan: 247–260.Google Scholar
  88. Lerner, A.P. (1974c). ‘Three Kinds of Inflation’. In R. Mundell and B.E. van Snellenberg (eds) Policy Formation in an Open Economy. Volume 1. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: University Press: 153–170.Google Scholar
  89. Lerner, A.P. (1974d). ‘Priorities and Pollution: Comment’. American Economic Review, 64(4): 715–717.Google Scholar
  90. Lerner, A.P. (1975). ‘Stagflation’. Intermountain Economic Review, 6(2): 1–7.Google Scholar
  91. Lerner, A.P. (1976a). ‘The Transmission of Inflation from Country to Country’. In P.B. Corbin and M. Sabrin (eds) Geographical Aspects of Inflationary Processes. New York: American Geographical Society: 47–50.Google Scholar
  92. Lerner, A.P. (1976b). ‘A Reluctant Keynesian’. Intermountain Economic Review, 7(2): 55–60.Google Scholar
  93. Lerner, A.P. (1977a). ‘Marginal Cost Pricing in the 1930s’. American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 67(1): 235–243.Google Scholar
  94. Lerner, A.P. (1977b). ‘Stagflation—Its Cause and Cure’. Challenge, 20(4): 14–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Lerner, A.P. (1977c). ‘Environment: Externalizing the Internalities?’. American Economic Review, 67(2): 176–178.Google Scholar
  96. Lerner, A.P. (1977d). ‘From Pre-Keynes to Post-Keynes’. Social Research, 44(3): 387–415.Google Scholar
  97. Lerner, A.P. (1978a). ‘A Wage-Increase Permit Plan to Stop Inflation’. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2: 491–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Lerner, A.P. (1978b). ‘The Scramble for Keynes’ Mantle’. Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics, 1(1): 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Lerner, A.P. (1978c). ‘Keynesianism: Alive, If Not So Well’. Chapter 4 in J. Buchanan and R. Wagner (eds) Fiscal Responsibilities in Constitutional Democracy. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff: 59–69.Google Scholar
  100. Lerner, A.P. (1979a). ‘MAP: The Market Mechanism Cure for Stagflation’. Atlantic Economic Journal, 7(1): 12–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Lerner, A.P. (1979b). ‘On Keynes, Policy, and Theory—A Grumble’. Social Research, 46(4): 834–844.Google Scholar
  102. Lerner, A.P. (1980a). ‘A Non-Monetarist View of the Nature of Stagflation and a Plan for Mobilizing the Market Mechanism to Cure It’. Social Research, 47(2): 339–351.Google Scholar
  103. Lerner, A.P. (1980b). ‘A Keynesian on Hayek’. Challenge, 23(4): 45–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Lerner, A.P. and H. Ben-Shahar (1969). Kalkala Ye’ilah (An Efficient Economy). Tel Aviv: Amikam.Google Scholar
  105. Lerner, A.P. and H. Ben-Shahar (1975). The Economics of Efficiency and Growth. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.Google Scholar
  106. Lerner, A.P. and D.C. Colander (1980). MAP: A Market Anti-Inflation Plan. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  107. Lerner, A.P. and H.W. Singer (1937). ‘Some Notes on Duopoly and Spatial Competition’. Journal of Political Economy, 45(2): 145–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bar-Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael
  2. 2.Ariel UniversityArielIsrael
  3. 3.Ono Academic CollegeKiryat OnoIsrael

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