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Magness, P. Coining Neoliberalism: Interwar Germany and the Neglected Origins of a Pejorative Moniker. Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, 141(3), 189-214.
Magness, Phillip W. "Coining Neoliberalism: Interwar Germany and the Neglected Origins of a Pejorative Moniker" Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch 141.3, 2021, 189-214.
Magness, Phillip W. (2021): Coining Neoliberalism: Interwar Germany and the Neglected Origins of a Pejorative Moniker, in: Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, vol. 141, iss. 3, 189-214, [online]


Coining Neoliberalism: Interwar Germany and the Neglected Origins of a Pejorative Moniker

Magness, Phillip W.

Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 141 (2021), Iss. 3 : pp. 189–214

1 Citations (CrossRef)

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Phillip W. Magness, Senior Research Fellow, American Institute for Economic Research, Great Barrington, MA.

Cited By


    Kolev, Stefan

    Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 46 (2024), Iss. 2 P.288 [Citations: 2]


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Widespread use of the term “neoliberalism” is of surprisingly recent origin, dating to only the late 20th century. The “neoliberalism” literature has nonetheless settled on an origin story that depicts the term as a self-selected moniker from the 1938 Walter Lippmann Colloquium. This paper challenges the 1938 origin, positing an earlier adoption of the term by Marxist and fascist political writers in 1920s German-language texts. These writers used “neo/neu-liberalismus” as a derisive moniker for the “Marginal Utility School,” then anchored at the University of Vienna. Definitional commonalities link this earlier use to pejorative deployment of the term in the present.