Oskar Lange

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lange, Oskar


Born July 27, 1904, in Tomaszów Mazo-wiecki; died Oct. 2, 1965, in London. Polish economist and political and public figure. Academician of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1952). Member of the Polish Socialist Party (1928–47). From 1948, member of the Polish United Workers’ Party and its Central Committee.

After graduating from the Jagellonian University in 1928, Lange continued his studies in the USA and Great Britain (1934–36). He was a professor at the University of Chicago from 1938 to 1945. Returning to his homeland in 1945, he served in the diplomatic corps until 1948. From 1952 to 1955 he was rector of the Main School of Planning and Statistics, and in 1956 he was appointed a professor at the University of Warsaw. He helped draw up economic development plans for India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, and Iraq, serving as an adviser on economic questions. His research on capitalist reproduction, the world economy, statistics, planning and management, and particularly the application of mathematics, cybernetics, and computers in economics is an important contribution to the development of economic science. Lange was awarded the State Prize of the Polish People’s Republic in 1955 and again in 1964.


Ekonomia burż uazyjna w epoce imperializmu, 3rd ed. Warsaw, 1958.
Ekonomia polityczna, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Warsaw, 1961–68.
Cztowiek i technika w produkcji. Warsaw, 1965.
Teoria statystyki, 2nd ed. Warsaw, 1970.
In Russian translation:
Vvedenie v ekonometriku. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It could be traced not to the theories of Marx and Engels but, as the Polish economist Oskar Lange (1962, 18) observed, to practice: this was what every society now did in time of war.
However, the introduction to Kowalski's book states it was written by him under the influence of Oskar Lange rather than that of Kalecki, even if Kalecki was the author who had most appreciated Luxemburg's economics as a forerunner of Keynes's General Theory.
The Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg, Oskar Lange and Michal Kalecki
The debate between Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek on the side of a modern economy against Oskar Lange on the side of socialism figure prominently.
If we take into account the centrality of the army as an institution to both Tsarist and Soviet rulers alike as well as the militarization of the Soviet economy, described by Oskar Lange as a Sui Generis war economy, we cannot understand either Stalin or the system in their totality.
He discusses entrepreneurship, socialism, Ludwig von Mises and the start of the debate on economic calculation, the unjustified shift in the debate toward statics: the argument of formal similarity and the so-called mathematical solution, and Oskar Lange and the competitive solution.
There is not a word on the world-renowned debate between Mises-Hayek and Pole Oskar Lange, a debate in which most of the world bet on Lange, but for which the final verdict after 1989 was undoubtedly in favor of the two Austrians.
Although the theoretical possibility of such an outcome has been known since the introduction of market socialism by Oskar Lange in the 1930s (best summarized in Lange 1936 and 1937 and Neuberger 1973), the assumptions necessary for Lange's model to work were heavily criticized by Hayek and others (see Hayek 1935 for a good example), who argued that Lange's model is, in terms of information flows, equivalent to perfect competition.
For example, while the econometric revolution in the West was in progress, it was largely ignored in the socialist countries (with exceptions such as the work of Oskar Lange in Poland).
In the 1930s, Oskar Lange, a highly regarded young theoretical economist of the period, advanced a market socialist proposal in a well-known essay titled "On the Economic Theory of Socialism." Lange's contribution solidly established the idea of "market socialism" in the consciousness of the Western economics profession - which had previously tended toward unquestioning acceptance of the Austrian school position that private ownership of capital is a necessary prerequisite for the existence of genuine markets and the concept of "market socialism" is, therefore, mere oxymoronic nonsense.
He begins with Oskar Lange's theoretical framework for a "liberal socialism," which would retain the parametric functions of the price system with a central planning board to control resource allocation.
Whether Friedman should be placed in the latter category, as Burgin does, may be contradicted by Burgin's reference to Friedman's "highly critical 1946 review of Oskar Lange's Price Flexibility and Employment" (p.