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Irving Fisher is widely regarded as one of the greatest economists of the twentieth century, and his achievements in neoclassical theory have had a profound influence on contemporary research. However, while there is no lack of research into the international diffusion of Keynes's thought, very little is known about how Fisher's ideas spread among scholars and policymakers throughout different countries. Yet, an understanding of when and how Fisher's writings influenced economic theorizing and policy debates worldwide could shed new light on the process of international transmission of economic ideas in general and on the evolution of the neoclassical paradigm in particular.
In 1922, Thomas Edison publicly introduced his latest invention—a new type of money, a commodity-backed currency that he believed was the long-term solution to America's monetary woes. “I want to cast the variable out of money. This gold money is not good enough. It's a fiction” he boldly proclaimed (New York Times 1922).
Over the years, Friedrich Hayek has received a generous response from some members of the British Conservative Party. One immediately thinks of endorsements of his work by Mrs. Thatcher in the 1970s and '80s.
Those with longer memories—and teeth—might also recall the controversy around Winston Churchill's first election broadcast in 1945, and the response to it by the Labour leader Clement Attlee, the following evening. Churchill spoke of the dangers of planning, and raised the idea that it would, in the end, require the powers of a Gestapo to put the ideal of a planned society into practice. Attlee criticized these ideas, and Hayek as the source of the theoretical conceptions behind them. This led to a fair bit of attention being paid to Hayek by the press, and to his being described as an economic adviser to Churchill. But Hayek himself has downplayed his direct contacts with Churchill (cf. Hayek 1994, pp. 106–107). Indeed, in Hayek on Hayek (Hayek 1994), Hayek indicates that he met Churchill only once. On that occasion he was struck by Churchill's being the worse for drink and then recovering, to Hayek's surprise, to make a first-rate speech.
Schumpeter's theory of entrepreneurship and innovation has been repeatedly interpreted in terms of a conceptual dualism, shifting from an early model of personal entrepreneurship in newly founded enterprises to a late model of research and development in large enterprises, responding to changes in the productive organization of capitalism. Due to theoretical inconsistencies, Schumpeter thus seemingly altered his argument on the role of entrepreneurship in economic development (Freeman et al. 1982, pp. 41–42). In countering these allegations, it has been put forward that Schumpeter's instrumental methodology would allow for settling historical experiences and theoretical reasoning on different analytical levels. Accordingly, the substantial validity of the Schumpeterian approach would remain independent from variable historical settings (Frank 1998, pp. 505–506). Adding to these methodological considerations, it has been suggested that the consistency of Schumpeter's argument could be reconstructed in terms of an explanation of capitalist development that resonates Weberian thought on rationalization and bureaucratization (Langlois 1998b, pp. 57–58).
In the aftermath of the so-called Marginal Revolution of the last end of the nineteenth century, economic analysis split into two branches. The first one was made up of economists who took as the methodological starting-point of their analyses the static or stationary state of a barter economy and considered that this basic framework was likely to be extended in order to account for monetary and financial considerations, as well as dynamics. However, in such a setting, the introduction of money, bank-credit, or any factor of growth did not substantially alter the features that are associated with the rudimentary economy of static real exchange.