Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Eli Heckscher’s Ideological Migration Toward Market Liberalism


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For most of his life economist and economic historian Eli Heckscher was the most firmly principled economic liberal Sweden had. He fought against state-socialist tendencies, Keynesian crisis policy, and economic planning. In his younger days, however, he was a social conservative who adopted an almost state-socialist stance. This article provides an account of Heckscher’s ideology and its development, drawing on previously untranslated policy-oriented discourse and focusing on Heckscher’s movement toward market liberalism. It details Heckscher’s liberal insights in political economy and his fears of a government with unprecedented resources, the creation of a “Frankenstein’s monster.”