Oskar R. Lange

Polish economist (1904-1965)

Oskar Ryszard Lange (July 27, 1904October 2, 1965) was a Polish economist and diplomat. He was most known for advocating the use of market pricing tools in socialist systems and providing a model of market socialism.

Oskar R. Lange


  • Human needs, although originally derived from biological necessity, are thus a result of the existence of society and are conditioned by the stage of development which society has reached.
    • "The Subject Matter of Political Economy: Elementary Concepts"
  • In my essay I refuted the Hayek-Robbins argument by showing how a market mechanism could be established in a socialist economy which would lead to the solution of the simultaneous equations by means of an empirical procedure of trial and error. [...] Were I to rewrite my essay today my task would be much simpler. My answer to Hayek and Robbins would be: so what’s the trouble?
    Let us put the simultaneous equations on an electronic computer and we shall obtain the solution in less than a second. The market process with its cumbersome tatonnements appears old-fashioned. Indeed, it may be considered as a computing device of the preelectronic age.
    • "The computer and the market" (1967)
  • Mathematical programming assisted by electronic computers becomes the fundamental instrument of long-term economic planning, as well as of solving dynamic economic problems of a more limited scope. Here, the electronic computer does not replace the market. It fulfils a function which the market never was able to perform.
    • "The computer and the market" (1967)

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