The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Schumacher, E.F. (Fritz) (1911–1977)

  • G. D. N. Worswick
Reference work entry


Economist, journalist, industrial adviser and eventually ‘guru’ with a world wide following, Schumacher was born a German citizen in 1911 and died a British citizen in 1977. One of the first German Rhodes scholars at Oxford University after World War I, he spent much of the 1930s studying and working in Britain and United States. When World War II came he cast his lot with Britain. Interned as an ‘enemy alien’, he was released to work as a farm labourer and then allowed to return to Oxford. His credentials as an economist were quickly established in a memorandum (1943a) on a multilateral clearing union for postwar international payments, similar to the famous ‘Keynes Plan’ put forward by the British at Bretton Woods. Another paper, written jointly with Michal Kalecki (1943b), proposed an International Investment Board as a means to inject liquidity into the international economy, an idea revived twenty years later as the ‘Link’. He was also one of a group of economists working out policies for full employment.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. D. N. Worswick
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