230. G. Haberler to Harrod , 6 April 1932 [a]



Harvard University, Department of Economics #

6 April 1932

Dear Mr. Harrod,

Many thanks for sending me offprints of your two very interesting articles. [1] I discuss them now in my class. Have you seen Professor Viner's article on Cost Curves in the "Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie"? [2] And in the same periodical (vol. 3, Heft 2, 1932) an article by E. Schneider who has somewhat elaborated your "Increment of aggregate demand curve", [3] which he calls "Grenzumsatzkurve". [4] Couldn't you better say, instead of "incr. of aggr. dem. curve" something like "marginal demand curve". [5] An ordinary demand curve is then a curve of average demand. What you call "total or aggregate demand" is perhaps better called "offer". Bowley speaks of an "offer curve" [6] and your "increment of aggregate demand curve" is then the derived function of the offer curve.--But these are only my superficial terminological remarks.

I should be very glad to address your political economy club, but I cannot yet fix the date. [7] It depends on when I am here through with the examinations. I think it will be between June 15th and 20th. As soon as I can, I let you know.

Please give Mrs. and Mr. Opie my best greetings.

Sincerely yours,

Gottfried Haberler

  1. 1. Harrod, "Notes on Supply" ( 1930:3 ) and "The Law of Decreasing Costs" ( 1931:2 ). Haberler asked for the reprints of Harrod's articles on decreasing cost, which he had read with interest, on 6 March 1932 (in HPBL Add. 71191/4).

    2. J. Viner, "Cost Curves and Supply Curves" (1931). Harrod had mentioned Viner's article in a letter toJoan Robinson in December 1931 (letter 225 , [jump to page] ), and later pointed out to Viner an error in a diagram; Viner's reply is reproduced here as letter 227 .

    3. The concept is defined in Harrod, "Notes on Monopoly and Quasi-Competition" (here reproduced as essay 6 , [jump to page] ) and "Notes on Supply" ( 1930:3 ), pp. 238-39.

    4. E. Schneider, "Kostentheoretisches zum Monopolproblem", Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie 3:2, pp. 185-211. The Grenzumsatzkurve is defined in § 1.

    5. Harrod's terminology was also disliked by Viner (letter 227 , [jump to page] ). For further references see note 4 to essay 6 .

    6. A. L. Bowley, The Mathematical Groundwork of Economics. An Introductory Treatise, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, pp. 7-13.

    7. Haberler's visit to Oxford was announced on 6 March 1932 (letter to Harrod, in HPBL Add. 71191/4). On 16 April he wrote again, explaining that the suggested dates for his lecture should be postponed as he would not arrive in Glasgow before 11 June and could not be in Oxford before 18 June (he also added that he had the pleasure of attending to Lindsay's lectures and of meeting him) (in HPBL Add. 71191/13).

    1. a. ALS, two page on one leaf, with envelope addressed to Christ Church but forwarded to Campden Hill Square, in KHLM 155.

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