Michał Kalecki

Michał Kalecki (June 22, 1899April 18, 1970) was a Polish economist who specialized in macroeconomics. For most of his life, he worked at Warsaw School of Economics.

Kalecki has been called “one of the most distinguished economists of the 20th century” and has sometimes been regarded as a "left-wing" John Maynard Keynes. It is often claimed that he developed many of the same ideas as Keynes, before Keynes; however, since he published in Polish, he remains much less known to the English-speaking world.


Kalecki's works from 1933–35 introduced many concepts that were later stated in John Maynard Keynes's General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in February, 1936. However, as Kalecki's works were published in Polish (and a few in French), they went unknown and unrecognized by the wider world. Kalecki's claim of precedence to Keynes, in a 1936 article, likewise went into oblivion as the article was not translated into English.

Only his later works were published in English, but the delay in their translation cost him much fame. Eventually his theories on business cycles (1935, 1937, 1939, 1943, 1954) did gain him some recognition for their advancement of the use of mathematical dynamics in economics. In his works he used both Classical and Marxist concepts, relying extensively on the theories of class conflict, income distribution and imperfect competition. Those very concepts would later gain much popularity with the Cambridge Keynesians school, especially with economists such as Joan Violet Robinson, Nicholas Kaldor and Richard M. Goodwin, and would be used within the modern Post-Keynesian economics school.

In his study of Marxian-type unemployment and business cycle, Kalecki blamed the government for deliberately permitting unemployment in order to keep wages low.

In cost-of-production theory of value, he distinguished between sectors with "cost-determined prices" (such as manufacturing and services) and those with "demand-determined prices" (such as agriculture and raw-materials extraction).

Kalecki studied both the semi-capitalist economy in prewar Poland and the communist economy in the postwar Polish People's Republic.

In the first half of the 1990s, Oxford University Press published 7 volumes of the Collected Works of Michal Kalecki, referring to him as "one of the most distinguished economists of the 20th century." Many of his works were translated into English for the first time in this collection.


  1. "Mr Keynes's Predictions," Przegląd Socjalistyczny, 1932.
  2. Essay on the Theory of the Business Cycle, 1933.
  3. "Essai d'une theorie du mouvement cyclique des affaires," Revue d'economie politique, 1935.
  4. "A Macrodynamic Theory of Business Cycles", 1935, Econometrica.
  5. "The Mechanism of Business Upswing", 1935, Polska Gospodarcza.
  6. "Some Remarks on Keynes's Theory", 1936, Ekonomista.
  7. "A Theory of the Business Cycle", 1937, RES.
  8. "A Theory of Commodity, Income and Capital Taxation", 1937, EJ.
  9. "The Principle of Increasing Risk", 1937, Economica.
  10. "The Determinants of Distribution of the National Income", 1938, Econometrica.
  11. Essays in the Theory of Economic Fluctuations, 1939.
  12. "A Theory of Profits", 1942, EJ.
  13. Studies in Economic Dynamics, 1943.
  14. "Political Aspects of Full Employment", 1943, Political Quarterly.
  15. "Professor Pigou on the Classical Stationary State", 1944, EJ.
  16. "Three Ways to Full Employment", 1944 in Economics of Full Employment.
  17. "A Note on Long Run Unemployment", 1950, RES.
  18. Theory of Economic Dynamics: An essay on cyclical and long- run changes in capitalist economy, 1954.
  19. "Observations on the Theory of Growth", 1962, EJ.
  20. Studies in the Theory of Business Cycles, 1933-1939, 1966.
  21. "The Problem of Effective Demand with Tugan-Baranovski and Rosa Luxemburg", 1967, Ekonomista.
  22. "The Marxian Equations of Reproduction and Modern Economics", 1968, Social Science Information.
  23. "Trend and the Business Cycle", 1968, EJ.
  24. "Class Struggle and the Distribution of National Income", 1971, Kyklos.
  25. Selected Essays on the Dynamics of the Capitalist Economy, 1933-1970, 1971.
  26. Selected Essays on the Economic Growth of the Socialist and the Mixed Economy, 1972.
  27. The Last Phase in the Transformation of Capitalism, 1972.
  28. Essays on Developing Economies, 1976.
  29. Collected Works of Michal Kalecki (1-6), Oxford University Press, 1990s, ISBN 1) 0198285388, 2) 0198286643, 3) 0198286651, 4) 019828666X, 5) 0198286678, 6) 0198286686

See also

Further reading

  • Sadowski, Zdzislaw L.; Szeworski, Adam (2004). Kalecki's Economics Today. London: Routledge.
  • King, J. E. (2003). A History of Post Keynesian Economics Since 1936. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Kriesler, Peter (1997). A "Second Edition" of the General Theory. London: Routledge.

External links

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