Interest And Prices by Knut Wicksell

By Knut Wicksell

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Although Wicksell’s tools were deficient, his scientific genius led him to an insight into the character and morphology of the movements of the price system which will, I think, always be regarded as a great scientific achievement, even when such concepts as his natural or normal rate of interest have long since been discarded. Nobody would have rejoiced more than Wicksell at the present questioning of the very fundamentals of monetary theory, his own contributions included, had he lived to witness it.

The worst of it is that the more exact test of the theory by means of the facts of experience still remains to be made. I am very far from regarding as adequate the little that I have been able to do in this direction in Chapter 11, where I give the reasons why a detailed investigation appears to me an extraordinarily difficult task, indeed as yet almost impossible. Until it has been fully endorsed by experience, every theory, no matter how plausible, remains no more than a hypothesis. I would not pretend that mine is more than that.

1Lee. , pp. 65, 66. 2 Only recently has a change in this respect come about as a result of Lindahl’s. The Means of Monetary Policy (in Swedish), 1930, and of Myrdal’s “Der Gloiehgewichtsbegriff als Instrument dor geldtheoretischen Analyse”, Beitràye zur Geldtheoric, edited by F. A. v. Hayek, 1933, (published in Swedish in the Ekonomisk Tidskrift, volume of 1931 but printed in 1932). 1 An analysis of these questions is to be found in my Swedish book, Monetary Policy, Public Works, Subsidies and Tariffs as Remedies for Unemployment, 1934.

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