Entrepreneurial Activity and the Development of Swedish Industry 1919-1939

This study is Part One of my doctoral dissertation. It was first published in Swedish in 1950 only a couple of months after the death of Joseph A. Schumpeter, who was my main source of inspiration in undertaking the study. Schumpeter had, ever since my first years as a student of history and economics, greatly influenced my thinking, and his writings guided me both in my selection of and approach to the subject matter of my dissertation. Most important for me was his path-breaking work of 1911, Theorie der Wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung. Here Schumpeter succeeded in integrating the dynamics of technology and business enterprise into the body of economic theory. Thus, with this work, he greatly advanced the prospects of applying economic theory more profitably in historical research.

Its translation into English in 1934 was most untimely. The depression, and later on the War, muted its reception. Economists were then mainly concerned with short-run problems. In the middle Forties, when I began the work on my dissertation, it was becoming increasingly apparent that, in the years to come, problems of technological progress and economic development would become more urgent. Vet the problems of short-run instability still held the stage in economic debate and research. The digestion and testing of the ideas of Keynes absorbed much of the intellectual energy of economists. Thus, when I started my work, no one had made any systematic attempt to use and develop Schumpeterian concepts in development studies or in historical research. Schumpeter's own Business Cycles (1939) was only in part an exception to this. It concentrated too much on the business cycle and, on the whole, lacked sufficient underpinnings of what I would call "grassroots research."

The suggestion some years ago to translate my book raised the question of a possible revision. However, in view of the subsequent development of economic theory and debate, I felt that a revision would be too difficult a task. Furthermore, when viewing my study as a contribution to Swedish economic history, what is called for is not a revision of my book but rather a continuation of the work that this book initiated.

Erik Dahmén
November 1969

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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