The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

List, Friedrich (1789–1846)

  • K. Tribe
Reference work entry


Known chiefly as a proponent of economic nationalism and protection to ‘infant industries’, List’s career followed a colourful, not to say disorderly course, from his engagement on behalf of a customs union in the early 1820s to exile and residence in the United States, agitation on behalf of railway construction, energetic economic journalism, and finally to his death by suicide in November 1846, depressed by his lack of success in promoting a commercial agreement between Prussia and Britain and also by chronic financial insecurity. Born into the family of a tanner on or about 6 August 1789 in Reutlingen, Württemberg, List’s early life was unremarkable. After briefly working in his father’s business, he entered service in the state administration as a clerk and in 1811 secured a position in Tübingen. There he began attending the occasional law lecture, giving up his appointment in 1813 to concentrate on his legal studies. He never sat for the final lawyers’ examination, instead taking and passing the actuaries’ examination in September 1814.


Economic nationalism Infant-industry protection International division of labour List, F. National economy Productive powers Zollverein 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Tribe
    • 1
  1. 1.