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The Nationalökonomische Gesellschaft from its foundation to the postwar period: prosperity and depression

Hansjoerg Klausinger ()

Empirica, 2019, vol. 46, issue 3, No 6, 487-503

Abstract: Abstract The Nationalökonomische Gesellschaft (NOeG) was founded in June 1918 by a group of young scholars, mostly based in Vienna, as a forum for theoretical debate. Despite the prominent economists involved (e.g. Schumpeter, Mises, Mayer, Spann, Amonn) its activities soon petered out. The relaunch of the NOeG in 1927 originated from the necessity of the two strands of the Austrian school, led by Mayer and Mises, to find some tolerable arrangement; Spann and economists outside the University of Vienna were excluded. Around 1930 the NOeG and Vienna in general proved an attraction for many well-known economists from abroad, and many of the papers presented were printed and cited in first-rate journals. Yet with the emigration of many Austrian economists during the 1930s the NOeG mirrored the general decline of academic economics in Austria and the number and quality of the papers presented decreased. After the Anschluss 1938 the NOeG and its president Mayer were quick in dismissing its Jewish members and in the following adhered to a strategy of inconspicuous adaptation; its formal existence did not lead to any substantial activities. The post-war period was characterized by the restoration of the situation before 1938, with Mayer’s continued presence at the university as well as at the NOeG a case in point. In the end, it led Austrian academic economics into a state of international isolation and “provincialization” much lamented by the émigré economists of the Austrian school.

Keywords: Nationalökonomische Gesellschaft; Vienna economic circles; Austrian school of economics; Emigration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B13 B25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10663-019-09439-4

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