Joseph Schumpeter

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Joseph Alois Schumpeter (8 February 1883 – 8 January 1950)[1] was an Austrian-American economist and political scientist. He popularized the term "creative destruction" in economics.[2]



Born in Třešť, Moravia (now Czech Republic, then part of Austria-Hungary) in 1883 to Catholic ethnic German parents, Schumpeter began his career studying law at the University of Vienna under the Austrian capital theorist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, taking his PhD in 1906. In 1909, after some study trips, he became a professor of economics and government at the University of Czernowitz. In 1911 he joined the University of Graz, where he remained until World War I. In 1919-1920, he served as the Austrian Minister of Finance, with some success, and in 1920-1924, as president of the private Biedermann Bank. That bank, along with a great part of that regional economy, collapsed in 1924 leaving Schumpeter bankrupt.

From 1925-1932, he held a chair at the University of Bonn, Germany. He lectured at Harvard in 1927-1928 and 1930. Because of the rise of Nazism in Germany he moved to the United States where he would teach from 1932 until his death in 1950.

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