Joseph Schumpeter was born in 1883 in Moravia
. He studied economics
in Vienna, acquiring a doctorate
, before becoming a lawyer
In 1909 he returned to his studies accepting a post at Czernowitz University (which is now in the Ukraine). In 1911 he published his first book, "Theory of Economic Development". His central theory was that entrepeneurs, and the volatile nature of their behaviour accounted for economic growth, which is not by nature a steady thing.
After the Great War, to which he was opposed, he went to live in Berlin. There he became involved with Marxists, and other academics. He lived for a short time outside the academic sector. Firstly, in 1919 he became the Austrian finance minister, but served for only a year due to a hyperinflation problem beyond his control. Between 1921 and 1924 he worked at a bank, but this collaped.
After a stint at the University of Bonn he travelled to America in 1932. There he became a professor at Harvard. He was reknowned as an excellent teacher, but also wrote several more books during that time. He lived there until 1950, when he died.
His contribution to the field of economics was not vast in terms of the theories that he created, but he is credited as inspirational, and responsible for the invention of "evolutionary" economics.