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Harvard. Economics of Socialism. Overton Taylor et al., 1950

Joseph Schumpeter died January 8, 1950. His Harvard course “Economics of Socialism” scheduled to begin February 9th was taken over by Overton Taylor. In addition to lectures by Taylor, lectures were also given by Wassily Leontief, Walter Galenson, and Alexander Gerschenkron.


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[Original Course Announcement for Economics 111 in September 1949]

Economics 111 (formerly Economics 11b). Economics of Socialism

Half-course (spring term). Mon., Wed., and (at the pleasure of the instructor) Fri., at 10. Professor Schumpeter.

A brief survey of the development of socialist groups and parties; pure theory of centralist socialism; the economis of Marxism; applied problems.


Source: Harvard University. Final Announcement of the Courses of Instruction Offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences during 1949-50. Official Register of Harvard University, Vol. XLVI, No. 24, September, 1949, p. 79.



[Course Enrollment, Economics 111, 1950 (Sp)]

[Economics] 111 (formerly 11b). Economics of Socialism. (Sp) Professor Schumpeter, Dr. O. H. Taylor and other Members of the Department.

6 Graduates, 13 Seniors, 6 Juniors, 3 Sophomores, 2 Public Administration, 2 Special: Total 32.


Source: Harvard University. Report of the President of Harvard College and Reports of Departments for 1949-1950, p. 72.



Economics 111

I.   February 9 – March 14. Socialism and Marxism, Doctrine.

1.  February 9 – 14. Introduction; background of history of modern socialism; before Marx.

Reading due February 14: G. H. Sabine, History of Political Theory, Chs. 28, 29, 30, 32.

Th., Sat., February 9, 11. Lectures
Tu., Feb. 14. Section meeting. Discuss Sabine reading.

2. February 14 – 21. Hegel and Marx, and Marx’s sociology (theory of history).

Reading due February 21: Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Part I, and Ch. 24; Communist Manifesto; Marx, Preface to a Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, p. 370; Marx-Engels, German Ideology, p. 209 (in Handbook of Marxism).

Th., Sat., February 16, 18. Lectures
Tu., February 21, Section. Discuss reading.

3. February 21-28. Ricardo and Marx, and Marx’s Economics I. Theory of Value and Surplus Value.

Reading due February 28: Sweezy, Theory of Capitalist Development, Part I.

Th., Sat., February 23, 25. Lectures.
Tu., February 28, Section, Discussion.

4. February 28 – March 7. Marx’s Economics II. Accumulation and Evolution of Capitalism

Reading due March 7: Sweezy, Chs. 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12.

Th., Sat., March 2, 4. Lectures, Taylor, Leontief.
Tu., March 7. Section, discussion.

5. March 7 – 14. Capitalism, Evolution, and Decline; Another View (Schumpeter).

Reading due March 14: Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Part II.

Th., Sat., March 9, 11, Lectures.
Tu., March 14, Section, discussion.

II.  March 16 – April 1. Socialist Parties, Ideas, and Policies –Theory and Practice – in Central Europe, Scandinavia, and England. Lecturers; Gerschenkron and Galenson.

6.  March 16 – 21. German and Austrian Developments after Marx and between the Two ‘World’ Wars. Gerschenkron.

Reading due March 21: Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Part V, plus additional material to be announced.

Th., Sat., March 16, 18, Lectures.
Tu., March 21, Section, Discussion.

7. March 21 – 28. Scandinavian Socialism, Theory and Practice. Galenson.

Reading due March 28: to be announced.

Th., Sat., March 23, 25, Lectures.
Tu., March 28, Discussion.

8. March 28 – April 1. British Socialism, Theory and Practice. Galenson

Reading: Max Beer, History of British Socialism, Chs. to be announced.


April 2 – 9, inclusive, Spring Vacation


III. April 11 –29. Soviet Russia; Economic Planning in Contralist Socialism, Theory; and Russian Practice. Lecturers, Gerschenkron and Leontief.

9. April 11 – 15. Russia, Boshevism, Marx-Lenin-Stalin Theroy, and Soviet Policies.

Reading due April 15: (1) Lange, Working Principles of Soviet Economy. (2) M. Dobb, Russian Economic Development, Chs. 13, 14..

Tu., Th., April 11, 13. Lectures, Gerschenkron.
Sat., April 15, Section, discussion.

10.   April 18 – 22. Centralist Socialism, Planning Theory.

Reading due April 22: (1) Lange-Taylor, On the Economic Theory of Socialism; (2) Bergson, Survey of Contemporary Economics, Edited by Ellis, Ch. 12.

Tu., Th., April 18, 20, Lectures, Leontief.
Sat., April 22, Section, Discussion.

11. April 25 – 29. Russian Practice; and the Modern Marxist Theory of ‘Monopoly Capitalism and Imperialism’ (Not related topics).

Tu., April 25, Lecture by Leontief; Economics of Planning and Russian Practice.
Th., Sat., April 27, 29. Taylor, Lectures: ‘Monopoly, Capitalism and Imperialism,’ Marx-Lenin Theory.

Reading. Sweezy, Part IV.

12. May 2 — 6. ‘Imperialism’ Theory, Cont’d.

Reading. Sweezy, Part IV, and Schumpeter, Chapters to be announced.


[handwritten additions]

40 students

Perlman – Theory of Labor [Movement].

Gulick Vienna Taxes since 1918, Political Science Quarterly. December, 1938

Charles A. Gulick Jr. How Fascism came to Austria. University Toronto Quarterly Jan 1939


Source: Harvard University Archives. Syllabi, course outlines and reading lists in Economics, 1895-2003 (HUC 8522.2.1), Box 4, Folder “Economics, 1949-1950 (1 of 3)”.

Irwin Collier

Posted by: Irwin Collier