The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Gossen, Hermann Heinrich (1810–1858)

  • Jürg Niehans
Reference work entry


Gossen was born in Düren (between Aachen and Cologne) on 7 September 1810; he died in Cologne on 13 February 1858. Little is known about his life, partly because the inconspicuous bachelor did not attract attention, partly because most of those who had known him were dead by the time he became famous, partly also because his literary remains, scant as they must have been, are lost. The principal biographical source is the essay by Walras (1885). The available facts are admirably surveyed by Georgescu-Roegen (1983), on whose masterly introduction to the English translation of Gossen’s book the following life sketch is mostly based.


Gossen, H. H. Imputation Intermediate products Invisible hand Libertarianism Marginal rate of substitution Marginal revolution Marginal utility Optimal allocation Optimal saving Rent Time preference Value theory 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access


  1. Bagiotti, T. 1957. Reminiszenzen anlässlich des hundertsten Jahrestages des Erscheinens des Buches von Gossen. Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie 17: 39–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bousquet, G.-H. 1958. Un centenaire: l’oeuvre de H.H. Gossen (1810–1858) et savéritable structure. Revue d’économie politique 68: 499–523.Google Scholar
  3. Edgeworth, F.Y. 1896. Gossen, Hermann Heinrich. In Dictionary of political economy, ed. R.H. Inglis Palgrave, vol. 2. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Georgescu-Roegen, N. 1983. Introduction to H.H. Gossen. The laws of human relations and the rules of human action derived therefrom. Trans. R.C. Blitz. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Jevons, W.S. 1879. The theory of political economy, 2nd ed. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  6. Kautz, J. 1858/1860. Theorie und Geschichte der National-Oekonomik, 2 vols. Vienna: Gerold.Google Scholar
  7. Krauss, O. 1910. Gossen, Hermann Heinrich. In Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. 55. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
  8. Lange, F.A. 1875. Die Arbeiterfrage. Ihre Bedeutung für Gegenwart und Zukunft, 3rd ed. Winterthur: Bleuler-Hausheer.Google Scholar
  9. Lexis, W. 1895. Art. Grenznutzen. Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften, vol. 1 (Supplement). Jena: Fischer.Google Scholar
  10. Liefmann, R. 1910. Hermann Heinrich Gossen und seine Lehre. Zur hundertsten Wiederkehr seines Geburtstages am 7. September 1910. Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik 40: 483–498.Google Scholar
  11. Neubauer, J. 1931. Die Gossenschen Gesetze. Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie 2: 733–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pantaleoni, M. 1889. Principii di economia pura. Florence: G. Barbéra. Pure economics Trans. T.B. Bruce. London: Macmillan, 1898.Google Scholar
  13. Riedle, H. 1953. Hermann Heinrich Gossen 1810–1858. Ein Wegbereiter der modernen ökonomischen Theorie. Winterthur: Keller.Google Scholar
  14. Walras, L. 1885. Un économiste inconnu: Hermann-Henri Gossen. Journal des Economistes. Reprinted in L. Walrus, Etudes d’économie sociale. Lausanne: Rouge, 1896.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürg Niehans
    • 1
  1. 1.