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Władysław Zawadzki

Władysław Marian Zawadzki (1885-1939) was an economist and politician. He studied at several, both Polish and foreign, universities. In his youth, he sympathised with the socialist movement, and later became involved in the Vilnius conservative community. From 1917 he delivered lectures on economics at Warsaw universities and at the Stefan Batory University in Vilnius. In 1931, he took over the post of Deputy Minister of Treasury, and a year later accepted the office of Treasury Minister. He held this position until 1935. His period in office coincided with the Great Depression. Zawadzki pursued the policy of budget balance and stable currency, opposing the concepts of devaluing the zloty. The minister believed that in a country that had experienced the devastating effects of hyperinflation a few years earlier, such actions were unacceptable, mainly for psychological reasons. His policy, however, failed to bring the expected results. From 1936 he lectured at the Warsaw School of Economics.

Zawadzki was one of the pioneers among Polish scientists in the use of mathematical tools in economics. He was in favour of the general equilibrium theory. Zawadzki had liberal views and rejected statist concepts. He was against extensive public spending and active social policy. He was afraid that excessive social spending would bring Poland’s rapid economic development to a halt and have a negative impact on social attitudes, laying the foundations for entitlement attitudes and weakening the entrepreneurial spirit and the will to work.

Among the most important works by Zawadzki, the following items are worth mentioning Zastosowanie matematyki do ekonomii politycznej [Application of mathematics in political economy], Teoria produkcji. Próba zbadania społecznych warunków produkcji [The theory of production. An attempt to investigate the social conditions of production] and Manipulowanie pieniądzem jako narzędzie polityki gospodarczej [Manipulating money as a tool of economic policy]. He also left behind Dziennik [The Diary], an interesting testimony to the daily work of a state activist.

The reverse of the coin features the image of Władysław Zawadzki, the dates of his birth and death and a quotation from the work Teoria produkcji, all of them against the background of stylised squares.

In addition to the regular elements such as the image of the Eagle established as the state emblem of the Republic of Poland, the face value and the notation of the year of issue, the obverse features stylised squares and charts which can be seen in the background.

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