The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Faustmann, Martin (1822–1876)

  • Anthony Scott
Reference work entry


Faustmann was a German forester who spent much of his life working on the grand-ducal forests of Hesse. Between 1849 and 1865 he entered into controversies with other foresters concerning methods of forest valuations, his ideas eventually prevailing among that minority of forest economists who accepted the discipline of a positive rate of interest in making forest calculations. Although it has been said that his work was approved by such ‘national economists’ as Wagner and Roscher (Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 1877), it was evidently quite unknown to the more theoretically oriented German and Austrian specialists in capital and interest. Incorrect solutions to the optimum forest rotation problem were subsequently offered by such economists as Jevons, J.B. Clark and Irving Fisher, in the course of simplified expositions of the idea of the production period of a single investment. Not until the 1950s did economists working outside forestry realize that Faustmann’s approach as explained to generations of resistant forestry school students contained a correct approach to the forestry question.


Faustmann, M. Forests Ohlin, B. G. Rotation periods 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.