Edwin Robert Anderson Seligman

(redirected from Edwin Seligman)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Seligman, Edwin Robert Anderson


Born Apr. 25, 1861, in New York; died July 18, 1939, in Lake Placid, N.Y. American economist.

Seligman studied at Columbia University, where he taught from 1885 to 1931. He was the founder and president of the American Economic Association (1902–04) and the editor in chief of the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences (vols. 1–15, 1930–35).

Seligman’s overall viewpoint was eclectic. Although he shared certain ideas of the historic school of political economy, including a critical attitude toward the system of economic liberalism and a proclivity for defending protectionism as a condition for developing new industrial sectors, he endeavored to apply the analysis of the Austrian school to social problems, extending E. von Böhm-Bawerk’s concept of “marginal pairs of sellers and buyers” to social groups or “marginal classes.” Seligman agreed with J. B. Clark’s views on value and distribution.

Seligman’s works on taxation, in which he established the theoretical principles for a progressive income tax, as well as his work on finances and economic history, have enjoyed great popularity.


The Economic Interpretation of History, 2nd ed. New York, 1907.
Studies in Public Finance. New York, 1925.
In Russian translation:
Osnovy politicheskoi ekonomii. St. Petersburg, 1908.
Ocherkipo teorii oblozheniia. Petrograd, 1924.


Seligman, B. Osnovnye techeniia sovremennoi ekonomicheskoi mysli. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The term "compensatory theory" comes from the Progressive era American economist Edwin Seligman, who, in his 1911 book The Income Tax: A Study of the History, Theory, and Practice of Income Taxation at Home and Abroad, used it to refer to the idea that progressive taxation is justified in instances where high income or wealth primarily reflects luck.
Meanwhile, Burgess's affinity for German-trained scholars like himself led him to recruit colleagues, such as Richard Mayo-Smith and Edwin Seligman, who had embraced both German historicism and statistical study.
As the Panic of 1907 played out, Edwin Seligman, a professor of political economy at Columbia University, organized a series of lectures, one each week, "to contribute to the understanding of the crisis of 1907, and to lay down some principles which might be of service in the reconstruction of our currency system" (Seligman 1908: ix).