The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Tugan-Baranovsky, Mikhail Ivanovich (1865–1919)

  • Alec Nove
Reference work entry


Of mixed Ukrainian-Tartar origin, Tugan-Baranovsky was born in the Kharkov province, and graduated from Kharkov university in 1888. His Magister dissertation for Moscow University was on industrial cycles in Great Britain, and he spent six months of his research time in London in 1892. There could scarcely have been a more masterly master’s thesis. It was published in 1894. While criticizing crude underconsumptionist theories, and pointing out that ‘the process of production creates its own market’, especially for producers’ goods, he went on to stress that the simple model derived from J.-B. Say assumes that ‘that entrepreneur, before beginning production, has a wholly correct and accurate knowledge of the requirements of the market and of the output of every branch of industry’. He cited Moffat’s phrase ‘the continuous struggle between the requirements of unknown demand and the fluctuations of unknown supply’. He contrasted the ‘propensity to save’ with the output of capital goods of various types, and with the opportunities to invest, which can and do get out of line with one another. He collected much empirical data. In the words of Alvin Hansen, ‘he began a new way of thinking about the problem’ of business cycles.


Exploitation Labour theory of value Marxist political economy Serfdom Subjective theory of value Surplus value Tugan-Baranovsky, M. I. Underconsumptionism 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alec Nove
    • 1
  1. 1.