Schneider, Erich (1900–1970)
When Erich Schneider died unexpectedly a few days before his 70th birthday, he left part of his work unfinished, in particular his History of Economic Thought. His Introduction to Economic Theory, comprising three volumes, reflected in its latest edition the state of microeconomics and macroeconomics up to the mid-1960s and was translated into several foreign languages. Above all other textbooks, this work was instrumental in narrowing the wide margin by which German economics had fallen below international standards during the Hitler era, but also even before that due to the dominance of the Historical School. The impact of Schneider’s personality and work reached well beyond the academic domain. He advocated the use of circular flow concepts and sound empirical foundations, promoting econometrics as well as the rapid development of modern national income accounting. By this, he turned not only against the Historical School, but also against those advocates of the social market economy who feared that the new instruments would lead back to a planned economy. Schneider always favoured the market economy and minimal state intervention, though without adhering to a dogmatic concept of ‘free competition’. As for competition he preferred to aim at pragmatic solutions.