Knut Wicksell had begun his academic studies in the fall of 1869 with the firm proposition to get a PhD and possibly in the end also a professorial chair in mathematics. His bachelor’s degree two and a half years later had included mathematics and astronomy, but also philosophy, history, Latin and Scandinavian languages (Gårdlund, 1996: 29). It was not until five or six years later that he began to display an interest in the social issues of the time. The circumstances were as follows.