Gustav Von Schmoller

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Schmoller, Gustav Von


Born June 24, 1838, in Heilbronn; died June 27,1917, in Bad Harzburg. German economist, historian, and state and public figure.

A leading representative of the new (younger) historical school of political economy, Schmoller became a professor at the University of Halle in 1864, the University of Strassburg in 1872, and the University of Berlin in 1882. He became a member of the Prussian Staatsrat (State Council) in 1884 and the Prussian Herrenhaus (Upper House) in 1899. He helped found the Verein für Sozialpolitik (Association for Social Policy) in 1872 and became its chairman in 1890. In 1881 he assumed the editorship of the Jahrbuch für Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung und Volkswirtschaft im deutschen Reich.

Schmoller’s principal theoretical work was Foundations for the Comprehensive Study of National Economy (vols. 1–2, 1900–04). Basing his theories on the ideas of the historical school, he criticized the formal deductive constructs of classical political economy. According to Schmoller, concrete historical research must precede the creation of an economic theory, since only a historical approach makes it possible to determine the causal relations between social phenomena. The behavior of economic entities (individuals and groups) results from the interaction of a variety of factors; therefore, economic science should concern itself with, for example, the intentions of individuals considered as economic units, the level of technological development, the character of existing social institutions, and natural conditions. Schmoller suggested that political economy, as the basic social science, encompasses such disciplines as psychology, sociology, and geography; it is therefore normative and provides a basis upon which to make ethical judgments and practical recommendations.

Criticizing Marxism from the perspective of Katheder-socialism, Schmoller defended active government intervention in the economy in order to stimulate the national economy and mitigate class contradictions. The existence of social classes—whose emergence he linked with racial characteristics, the division of labor, and unequal distribution of income—and the struggle between social classes were considered a necessary condition for social progress. He saw the aim of class struggle, however, not as the revolutionary transformation of society but as a compromise between the opposing parties, who must not violate common ethical standards. Schmoller wrote several works on the socioeconomic and political history of various countries of Western Europe.


Zur Geschichte der deutschen Kleingewerbe im 19 Jahrhundert. Halle, .. 1870.
Über einige Grundfragen des Rechts und der Volkswirtschaft, 2nd ed. Jena,1875.
Zur Literaturgeschichte der Staats- und Sozialwissenschaften. Leipzig, 1888.
Die soziale Frage. Munich, 1918.
In Russian translation:
O noveishikh rezul’tatakh statistiki narodonaseleniia i nravstvennosti. Moscow, 1873.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo, nauka o narodnom khoziaistve i ee metody. Moscow, 1902.
Bor’ba klassov i klassovoe gospodstvo. Moscow, 1906.


Weber, M. “Der Sinn der ‘Wertfreiheit’ der soziologischen und ökonomischen Wissenschaften.” Logos, 1918, vol. 7.
Schäfer, U. G. Historische Nationalökonomie und Sozialstatistik als Gesellschaftswissenschaften. Cologne, 1971.


References in periodicals archive ?
His argumentation requires so much more attention because it has to be read as a fine synthesis of arguments developed in the first battle of methods between Carl Menger and Gustav Schmoller and the second battle of methods between Schmoller, Max Weber, and others.
Cassel (1900: 485) held that it was necessary to "keep a much keener eye on the superior rights of the community at large" and cited authorities such as John Stuart Mill, Gustav Schmoller, Adolph Wagner, and Karl Bucher.
No ano seguinte, tem inicio a "querela dos metodos" entre Gustav Schmoller e Carl Menger; morre Karl Marx, chega as livrarias a Introducao as ciencias do espirito de Dilthey.
1 The University of Berlin and the German Historical School The German Historical School, led by Gustav Schmoller, was still influential at the time Koizumi arrived in Berlin.
Algo similar se encuentra, entre otros, en Gustav Schmoller quien afirma, por ejemplo: <<Es un mundo comun de ideas y sentimientos, un dominio de las representaciones comunes (.
Even in economics, Gustav Schmoller and his students pushed National Economics, a glorification of the stated-directed economy introduced by the Zollverein before unification, and continued onwards.
Some accounts place Pesch in line with the German Historical School of economics, but he is often critical of historical economists (as well as the related "socialists of the chair") such as Gustav Schmoller.
Instead, the book begins with a lengthy and informative intellectual history of Austrian economics, touching on such issues as the debate between Carl Menger and Gustav Schmoller of the German historical school.
The German Historical School--represented by people like Wilhelm Roscher, Bruno Hildebrand, Karl Knies, Gustav Schmoller, and Werner Sombart--attracted a lot of American economists in the late nineteenth century.
Characteristic in this regard was the economist Gustav Schmoller, who proclaimed the state to be "the most sublime ethical institution in history.
Inspired and led by Gustav Schmoller, these well-placed Herr Doktors, who dominated German economic teaching, were theorielos, "without theory," and, therefore, up the intellectual creek without a paddle.
There is a chapter devoted to Menger's "new organicism", a chapter on Gustav Schmoller and another one on his followers.