The Political Economy of Joseph Schumpeter

“The Political Economy of Joseph Schumpeter: A Theory of Capitalist Development and Decline,” [PDF], Studies in Political Economy, no. 15 (Fall 1984), pp. 5-42.

The name of Joseph Schumpeter is still a prominent one in the social sciences. He was undoubtedly one of the leading economists of his generation. That by itself would have been enough to ensure him lasting fame, yet his importance as a social theorist extends far beyond that which is attributable simply to his performance as an economist. Unlike most economists, Schumpeter coupled his economic analysis with an historical outlook. The bulk of his immense theoretical con- tribution was directed toward an investigation into entrepreneurial capitalism as a transitory, historical phenomenon. This analysis of the growth of capitalism was tied to both a general theory of social classes and a detailed inquiry into the nature and function of the capitalist class. Nevertheless, while it is generally conceded that Schumpeter had a unified vision of the social process, few attempts have been made to examine his overall theory as a systematic whole.


Comments are closed.