August Lösch - Curriculum Vitae

August Lösch (1906-1945)

August Lösch was born on 15th of October in 1906. In his youth he lived in Heidenheim and passed his “Abitur” (A-level) in 1925. In 1927 he started studying economics, philosophy and history in Tübingen and continued his studies in Freiburg, Kiel and Bonn with his diploma examination in economics in Freiburg in 1932. One year later he finished the conferral of the doctorate (graduation) in Bonn. Primarily he was influenced by Eucken, Schumpeter and Spiethoff.

After finishing his studies Lösch began with economic research. At first in 1933/34 he started with empirical analysing of population. For these working papers he got the academic degree “Dr. habil.”. From 1934 to 1939 he researched in an extensive way in spatial economics. The results were published in “Räumliche Ordnung der Wirtschaft”. In particular Lösch learned the theoretical fundamentals during long-term voyages through the United States of America. In 1940 Lösch joined The Kiel Institute for the World Economy as research associate and one year later he was appointed senior researcher. In this capacity he belonged to the Institute until his premature death.

Lösch commenced his academic career by analysing the long-term population and labour force development. He discovered intense waves of population with length of generations which he ascribed to their components (development of birth and mortality) and analysed the coherence between population, labour force and economic development. Beside the time variance of population Lösch dealed with spatial distribution. This led to his second exploratory focus: the modern location theory, which he had advanced in a decisive manner. Lösch may take the credit for being the first theorist, who had analysed organization of economy under spatial principles. In “Räumliche Ordnung der Wirtschaft“ he elaborated systematic location theory, a new foreign trade theory and the first comprehensive analysis of the character of economic areas. This work met with great interest both at home and abroad although Germany was excluded during the Second World War. The suggestions given by Lösch had not only raised the location theory but also the practical spatial planning. In spite of his extraordinary performances a university career was not possible because he was not about to join the National Socialist German Workers Party. Before the outbreak of the war, for Lösch it would have been possible to get an proffesorship in the United States of America anytime. He refused such offers for reasons of relatedness with his homeland. Everybody who had known Lösch regarded him as a genious, talented, creative and profound even though sometimes headstrong personality of research.