The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Historical School, German

  • Heath Pearson
Reference work entry


The German Historical School was an influential heterodoxy in 19th-century political economy. It diverged from the classical school crucially in its scepticism that universal laws of social behaviour could be established. Its members were also more interventionist, tending to favour protection, regulation colonization and the welfare state, though by no means unanimously on every point. In line with their relativity, they accepted that their policy recommendations, too, were historically contingent. Their influence among economists was greater in developing countries than in western Europe, but it has everywhere had a lasting impact on allied branches of social science such as sociology.


American Academy of Political and Social Science American Economic Association Brentano, L. Bücher, K. Chayanov, A. Commons, J. Durkheim, E. German Historical School Germany, economics in (20th century) Gide, C. Hildebrand, B. India, economics in Italy, economics in Japan, economics in Jones, R. Keynes, J.M. Knapp, G. Knies, K. Lamprecht, K. List, F. Lubbock, J. Maine, H. Malinowski, B. Marshall, A. Methodenstreit Mitchell, W. Polanyi, K. Relativity Roscher, W. Schmoller, G. Schumpeter, J. Sombart, W. Spiethoff, A. Veblen, T. Verein für Socialpolitik (Association for Social Policy) von Inama- Sternegg, K. Wagner, A. Weber, M 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heath Pearson
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