CH -- Business and Economics

Biographisches Handbuch der deutschsprachigen wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Emigration nach 1933 [Biographical Handbook of Economists from German-Speaking Countries Who Emigrated after 1933]. Ed. Harald Hagemann and Claus-Dieter Krohn. München: Saur, 1999. 2 vols. xlv, 773 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-598-11284-X: DM 498.00 [00-1/4-313]

German exile research initially focused on literary writers, and only later turned to the fate of the large number of scientists and other scholars who left Germany after the National Socialists came to power in 1933. Several years ago, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council) initiated a systematic study of the brain drain from German-speaking countries, and some of the results of that research appear in this biographical work. The handbook contains a long introduction covering topics such as "Dismissal and Expulsion," "Effects of the Emigration on German Universities," "Countries of Refuge," "Contributions of the Emigrants to International Developments in their Fields," and "Careers of the Emigré Scholars." The substantial biographies of 328 economists who emigrated are dedicated primarily to their scholarly achievements, with emphasis on their academic and professional careers; less attention is given to biographical information not directly related to their professional life. Each article concludes with a three-part bibliography: selected works by the economist, secondary literature, and sources. This handbook makes an important contribution to the history of German scholarship in economics, and reveals the influence of these emigrant scholars in Great Britain and the USA, where most of the academics chose to settle. Some shortcomings in the organization and currency of the work can be noted. For example, some of the 98 economists for whom no year of death is given have, in fact, died. [sh/akb]

Lexikon der Betriebswirtschaft: Management-Kompetenz von A-Z [Dictionary of Business Administration: Management from A-Z]. Jean-Paul Thommen. 2d ed. Zürich: Versus, 2000. 612 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 3-908143-50-0: SFr. 98.00, DM 125.00 [00-1/4-315]

Professor Jean-Paul Thommen's dictionary offers a good introduction to German-language business terminology. The approximately 3,000 entries provide a systematic and up-to-date treatment of fundamental concepts in the field of business administration. The entries tend to be short, on average one-fifth of a page. Length varies according to the term defined: broader concepts such as "Controlling" or "Marketing" are explained at length, whereas simpler terms like "Annuität" (annuity) or "Kreuzpreiselastizität" (cross-price elasticity) receive short definitions. The reader is not subjected to long theoretical treatises, although in some cases multiple definitions are given. No unnecessarily specialized terminology is included. Both current terms (e.g., "Call Center," "Internet," "Virtual Business") and traditional economic concepts (e.g., gross national product, balance of payments) can be found here. Because of the author's Swiss background, the book contains a slight Swiss bias in terms of language used and some content. However, the Swiss influence is not so pronounced that it detracts from the work's overall usefulness. Testifying to the book's success is the fact that this second, unrevised edition appears so soon after the first edition of 1999. [lf/akb]

Lexikon der Volkswirtschaft: über 2000 Begriffe für Studium und Beruf [Dictionary of Economics: Over 2,000 terms for Study and Work]. Michael Hohlstein et al. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag; Beck, 2000. v, 674 p. 20 cm. (dtv, 5898; Beck-Wirtschaftsberater im dtv). ISBN 3-423-05898-6 (dtv); ISBN 3-406-45275-2 (Beck): DM 32.90 [00-1/4-316]

The series Beck-Wirtschaftsberater im dtv has produced a number of encyclopedias in the field of economics that offer good quality at a low price. The Lexikon der Volkswirtschaft is one such work. The entries, written by four authors, cover the following subject areas: agricultural policy, unemployment and job market, foreign trade and development policy, economics research, economic and social statistics, finance, monetary theory and policy, international organizations, macroeconomics, accounting, general economic policy, microeconomics, and social policy. The articles are relatively comprehensive and easily accessible to the layperson. Problems and issues tend to be seen in terms of economic policy rather than theory. The many "see also" references to related articles indicate that there is an underlying systematic concept to the work as a whole. This is reflected also in the consistency of the vocabulary, which keeps strictly to the subject of the dictionary. The volume closes with a bibliography organized according to the subject areas noted above. [lf/akb]

Knapps enzyklopädisches Lexikon des Geld-, Bank-, und Börsenwesens [Knapp's Encyclopedia of Finance, Banking, and the Stock Market]. Ed. Jörg E. Cramer and Friedrich Thießen for the Zeitschrift für das gesamte Kreditwesen [Journal for Credit and Loans]. 4th completely rev. ed. 2 vols. Frankfurt am Main: Knapp, 1999. xxii, 2,213 p. ill. 27 cm. ISBN 3-7819-0596-9: DM 996.00 [00-1/4-317]

The publication of a completely revised 1999 edition of this work marks the comeback of an important reference work, which last appeared in 1967 under a similar title. The question as to why the Knapp publishing house allowed an astonishing 32 years to pass before putting out a new edition can probably be answered only by insiders. Comparable works by other publishers have been reissued; for example, the Gabler-Bank-Lexikon [Gabler Dictionary of Banking] (see RREA 6:238 below) has appeared in no fewer than six editions between 1969 and 1999.

The 1,200 articles consist primarily of longer, specialized essays. Short, definition-type entries are in the minority. The articles are accompanied by more than 3,000 cross-references that direct the reader to relevant key words. Scholarly and comprehensive, and usually about two pages long, the articles are written by well-known specialists and, in general, accurately reflect the current state of finance and banking. One feature of this work stands out--the Systematische Übersicht der Stichwörter [Systematic Overview of Key Words], which uses a somewhat unconventional scheme of organization. It divides its subject into seven categories: (1) General topics; (2) Fiscal aspects; (3) Regulation; (4) Institutions; (5) Products, businesses, strategies; (6) Markets and financial systems; and (7) Theories, concepts, methods. By means of this overview, the user can detect relationships and structure among the concepts. Thus, individual articles do not stand alone, but are integrated into a meaningful context, which offers a great advantage over other lexica that provide only an alphabetical organization of material. No other economic reference work offers anything similar. Nonetheless, it could be improved by the addition of a simple subject index, and by more "see also" references for synonyms. [lf/akb]

Gabler-Bank-Lexikon: Bank--Börse--Finanzierung [Gabler's Dictionary of Banking: Banking, Stock Market, Finance]. Ed. Jürgen Krumnow et al. 12th rev. and enl. ed. Wiesbaden: Gabler, 2000. 1,477 p. 24 cm. ISBN 3-409-46112-4: DM 148.00 [00-1/4-318]

The 12th edition of this work reveals striking differences that set it off from the previous one. Above all, it has undergone a decrease rather than an increase in size--a highly unusual phenomenon. Its previous two volumes have shrunk to only one volume, with the number of entries decreasing from 10,000 to 8,000. Usually, revised editions of specialized dictionaries introduce new terms while retaining the old, which eventually burdens the work with outdated terms. In this case, the editors have chosen not to take this comfortable route, but have instead undertaken a welcome weeding process to produce a streamlined and current work. In addition, 17 substantial new articles on topics such as the globalization of capital markets or the European Central Bank, written by specialists in the field, have been included; however, they seem to have been rather arbitrarily inserted into the body of the work, without cross-references to key terms. A positive "modern" feature is Gabler's updating service on the Internet, where information about the most significant changes in the content of the dictionary can be found at <http://www.gabler.de/bank-lexikon>. [lf/akb]

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