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Born Mar. 25, 1835, in Erlangen; died Nov. 8, 1917, in Berlin. German economist and political figure. At the age of 23 he became professor of political economy and finance.
Wagner held positions in departments at the universities of Freiburg, Berlin, and other cities. Under the influence of his teacher K. J. Rodbertus-Jagetzow and the “historical school,” he emphasized the dependence of economic life upon legal conditions, for example, on the institution of private property. Wagner demanded an increase in state economic activity. He was a founder of the Union for Social Policy (1872), created to work out legislative measures to improve the situation of the workers. Wagner called these measures state socialism. In 1881, Wagner joined the reactionary Christian-Social Party.
WORKSDie Gesetzmässigkeit in den scheinbar willkürlichen menschlichen Handlungen. Hamburg, 1864.
Die russische Papierwährung. Riga, 1868. (Russian translation, Russkie bumazhnye den’gi. Kiev, 1871.)
Theoretische Sozialökonomie, vols. 1-2, sections 1-2. Leipzig, 1907-09.