J.H.G. Justi in Austria: His Writings in the Context of Economic and Industrial Policies of the Habsburg Empire in the 18th Century

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The approach of this chapter will probably appear a bit unusual, and therefore needs some explanation. I will not deal with Justi’s writings on some issues of economic policy in the context of the economic doctrines of his time and of other economists, which is the most common approach to a subject like this. Instead, I will put Justi’s writings on industrial policy (“Gewerbepolitik”), on taxation and on state finance in the context of economic policy of the Habsburg empire in the second half of the 18th century, i.e., under the rule of Empress Maria Theresa (1740–1780) and Emperor Joseph II. (1780–1790).

It might be argued against this kind of evaluation of Justi’s teachings in economic policy that his stay in Vienna was rather short (1750–1753) and that he published his systematic treatments of the subject only after he had already left Vienna and while he was serving other German sovereigns. The first edition of his “Staatswirtschaft” appeared in 1755, the “Grundsätze der ...