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New School for Social Research. Elementary Mathematical Economics. Marschak’s Readings, 1940


The previous posting provided a list of economics courses announced for 1939-40 at the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research. There we read that Dr. Jakob Marschak was to take over the courses taught by Gerhard Colm during the latter’s leave of absence to work in Washington, D.C. It just so happens that in the Papers of Franco Modigliani at Duke’s Economists’ Papers Archive I happened to have found the following reading list for Marschak’s course, Elementary Mathematical Economics, from the Fall term of 1940. Links to almost all of the books on Marschak’s list have been provided below. Those interested in the articles will need to go to a research library with access to or having (gasp) hard-copy journal volumes in their collections.


Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science
New School for Social Research, 66 West 12 Street, New York City

Fall 1940

Elementary Mathematical Economics
Dr. Jakob Marschak

*Available in New School Library

I. Introductory and General

*Allen, R.G.D. Mathematical Analysis for Economists. 1938
Thompson, S. Calculus Made Easy. 1919
Fisher, Irving A Brief Introduction to the Infinitesimal Calculus. 1897
Osgood Introduction to the Calculus. 1922
   “ Advanced Calculus. 1925.
Courant Differential and Integral Calculus. 2 volumes (1934, 1936)
[Volume One; Volume Two.]
Evans, G. Mathematical Introduction to Economics. New York. 1930
Bowley, A. Mathematical Groundwork of Economics. Oxford. 1924


II. Statics of National Output (Macro-Statics)

*Fisher, Irving The Purchasing Power of Money
Marschak, J. Stationary Society with Monetary Circulation. Econometrica. 1934.
Hicks, J. Mr. Keynes and the Classics. Econometrica. 1937


III. Statics of Consumers and Firms (Micro-Statics)

(a) Consumers

Edgeworth, F. W. Mathematical Psychics. 1883 (re-edited recently)
*Marshall, A. Principles of Economics. Mathematical Appendix (8th edition)
Hicks, J. and Allen, RGD A Reconsideration of the Theory of Value, Economica. 1934
Hicks, J. Capital and Value. Chapters I – IV 1939
Hotelling, H. Demand Functions with Limited Budgets. Econometrica. 1935
Marschak, J. Personal and Collective Demand Functions. Review of Economic Statistics. 1939

(b) Firms

*Cournot, A. Mathematical Theory of Wealth. 1838. American edition by Irving Fisher. 1927
Hicks, J. Survey of Economic Theory: Imperfect Competition. Econometrica. 1935
Brown, E. H. Phelps Efficacy of Factors of Production. Econometrica. 1936. (3 articles)

(c) General Equilibrium and Distribution

Fisher, I. Mathematical Investigations on Value. Re-edited 1925. New Haven
Walras, L. Éléments d’Économie Politique Pure. 1936
Pareto, V. Manuel d’Économie Politique
Hicks, J. & Walras L. Econometrica. 1934
*Wicksell, K. Lectures, Volume I
Kalecki, M. The Determinants of Income Distribution. Econometrica. 1938
*Douglas, P. The Theory of Wages. New York. 1934
Edelberg Production and Distribution. Econometrica 1936
Fisher, I. The Theory of Interest. 1930


IV. Dynamics

Whitman Dynamics of Costs. Econometrica. 1936
Kalecki, M. Essays in the Theory of Economic Fluctuations. London. 1939
*Tinberbergen, J. Verification of Business Cycles Theories. 2 volumes. Geneva. 1939

[Statistical Testing of Business-cycle Theories:
Part I: A Method and Its Application to Investment Activity
Part II: Business cycles in the United States of America, 1919-1932]

   “ Explanations: Review of Economic Studies 1940. Economic Journal. 1940
Frisch, R. Propagation in Dynamic Economics, in Economic Essays in Honor of Gustav Cassel, London, 1933.


V. Economics and Probabilities

Hagstroem. Pure Economics as a Stochastical Theory. Econometrica. 1936
*Knight, F. H. Risk, Uncertainty and Profit. New York. 1921 and 1933
Pigou, A. C. Economics of Welfare: Appendix on Risk
Marschak, J. Money and the Theory of Assets. Econometrica. 1938
Neyman, J. Lectures on Mathematical Statistics. Chapters on Time Series. Department of Agriculture, Washington

[Lectures and Conferences on Mathematical Statistics, mimeographed, 1938. Augmented second edition in 1952.]

Cowles, A. Can Stock Market Forecasters Forecast? Econometrica. 1933
Jones, H. E. Time Regression Analysis. Econometrica. 1937


Source: Duke University. Economists’ Papers Archive in David Rubenstein Library. Papers of Franco Modigliani. Box T1, Folder “Jacob Marschak’s Course, 1940-1949”.

Image Source: Carl F. Christ. History of the Cowles Commission, 1932-1952

Irwin Collier

Posted by: Irwin Collier

2 thoughts on “New School for Social Research. Elementary Mathematical Economics. Marschak’s Readings, 1940

  1. Almost striking that ‘econometrics’ is not mentioned (except very indirectly in the title of the journal). Marschak took part already at the first ES meeting in 1931 and the reading list seems influenced by what Marschak had learned at ES meetings in Leiden 1933 (Frisch, Kalecki, Tinbergen), Oxford 1936 (Neyman, Hicks, Allen, Edelberg, Tinbergen) and at his brief stint with Tinbergen in Geneva. All the names on the reading list were membere sof the ES, apart from those deceased.
    Marschak had met Haavelmo at the Cowles conference in 1939 but Haavelmo hadn’t developed his ideas by then. Haavelmo presented at Cowles also in 1940 but Marschak was not present. One year later Marschak was instrumental in getting a position for Haavelmo at the New School. But Haavelmo was guilt ridden for having taken no part in the war effort, he was after all an artillery man but already in USA when Norway was attacked. Haavelmo withdrew from the New School offer to work for the Norwegian government. The first version of his Probability Approach was completed in August 1941 and marschak became the first to apply the new ideas (in 1944).

    1. I also found interesting that micro-statics and macro-statics were the designations (more or less) for microeconomics and macroeconomics.

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