The Cameralists: Fertile Sources for a New Science of Public Finance

  • Richard E. Wagner
Part of the The European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences book series (EHES, volume 11)


The cameralist writers emerged after 1500, primarily in the German-speaking lands, and stayed on the scene until the middle of the nineteenth century. While I devote some effort to characterizing some of the works and themes of the cameralists, I devote most of this chapter to an examination of the contemporary relevance of a cameralist orientation for scholarship in public finance. To place such stress upon contemporary relevance is not to ignore the vast differences between their times and ours, but is only to affirm that there are some enduring themes within the cameralist orientation that could prove interesting and fruitful for contemporary scholarship in public finance.


Public Finance Institutional Framework Economic Order State Enterprise Contemporary Relevance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Backhaus JG (1993) The German economic tradition: from cameralism to the Verein für Socialpolitik, Manuscript. University of Maastricht, MaastrichtGoogle Scholar
  2. Backhaus JG, Wagner RE (1987) The cameralists: a public choice perspective. Public Choice 53(1):3–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blankart CB (1991) Öffentlichen Finanzen in der Demokratie. Franz Vahlen, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  4. Brennan G, Buchanan JM (1980) The power to tax: analytical foundations of a fiscal constitution. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Buchanan JM, Thirlby GF (eds) (1973) LSE essays on cost. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Dittrich E (1974) Die deutschen und österreichischen Kameralisten. Wissenschaftliche Buchgessellschaft, DarmstadtGoogle Scholar
  7. Foldvary F (1994) Public goods and private communities. Edward Elgar, HantsGoogle Scholar
  8. Goode R (1970) Public finance in the international encyclopedia of the social sciences: a review article. J Econ Lit 8(1):27–34Google Scholar
  9. Humpert M (1937) Bibliographie der Kameralwissenschaften. Karl Schroeder Verlag, KölnGoogle Scholar
  10. Justi, Johann Heinrich Gottlob von (1969a), Grundsätze der Policeywissenschaft, Frankfurt a. M.: Sauer & Auvermannn KG. [Reprint from the third edition of 1782.]Google Scholar
  11. Justi, Johann Heinrich Gottlob von (1969b), Natur und Wesen der Staaten, Darmstadt: Scientia Verlag Aalen. [Reprint from 1771 edition.]Google Scholar
  12. Kraan D-J (1996) Budgetary decisions: a public choice approach. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Leijonhufvud A (1996) Three items for the macroeconomic agenda, manuscript. University of Trento, TrentoGoogle Scholar
  14. MacCallum SH (1970) The art of community. Institute for Humane Studies, Menlo ParkGoogle Scholar
  15. Schumpeter JA (1954) History of economic analysis. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Seckendorff, Veit Ludwig von (1976), Der Teutscher Fürsten Staat, Glashütten im Taunus: Detlev Auvermann KG, with a Forward by Ludwig Fertig. [Reprint from the 1665 edition.]Google Scholar
  17. Small A (1909) The cameralists: the pioneers of German social polity. Burt Franklin, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Sonnenfels JV (1787) Grundsätze der Policey, Handlung und Finanzwissenschaft. Strobel, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  19. Tiebout CM (1956) A pure theory of local expenditures. J Polit Econ 64(5):416–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tribe K (1984) Cameralism and the science of government. J Mod Hist 56(2):263–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tribe K (1995) Strategies of economic order: German Economic Discourse: 1750–1950. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wagner RE (1997) Choice, exchange, and public finance. Am Econ Rev Proc 87:160–163Google Scholar
  23. Wicksell K (1958) A new principle of just taxation. In: Musgrave RA, Peacock AT (eds) Classics in the theory of public finance. Macmillan, London, pp 72–118Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

Personalised recommendations