Liberty, Markets, and Institutions in German and American Economic Thought


This conference explored the different bases for both the German and American schools of institutional study from their origins in the nineteenth century to the present. We examined how the scholars of both countries have approached the question of liberty and order as it related to economic institutions and historical development. Of particular interest were their distinctive perceptions of the way social science ought to be conducted, and how their various approaches to social science affected an understanding of liberty and responsibility.


Conference Readings

Acton, Emerich Edward Dalberg. Historical Essays and Studies by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton. Edited by John Neville Figgis and Reginald Vere Laurence. Cambridge: MacMillan, 1907.

Chandler, Alfred and Fritz Redlich. The Essential Alfred Chandler. Edited by Thomas K. McCraw. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1988.

Rodrik, Dani, eds. In Search of Prosperity: Analytic Narratives on Economic Growth. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg. Selected Writings of Lord Acton, Volume III: Essays in Religion, Politics, and Morality. Edited by Rufus J. Fears. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1988.

Cohn, Gustav. “The History and Present State of Political Economy in Germany.” The Fortnightly Review XIV (July 1-December 1, 1873): 337-350.

Dorfman, Joseph. “The Role of the German Historical School in American Economic Thought.” The American Economic Review 45, no. 2 (May 1955): 17-28.

Eucken, Walter. The Foundations of Economics: History and Theory in the Analysis of Economic Reality. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951.

Hodgson, Geoffrey M. “The Revival of Veblenian Institutional Economics.” Journal of Economic Issues XLI, no. 2 (June 2007): 325-337.

Lachmann, Ludwig. The Legacy of Max Weber. Berkeley: The Glendessary Press , 1971.

Leslie, T. E. C. “The History of German Political Economy.” The Fortnightly Review XVIII (July 1-December 1, 1875): 93-101.

North, Douglass C. “Institutions and Economic Theory.” The American Economist 36, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 3-6.

Redlich, Fritz. Steeped in Two Cultures: A Selection of Essays Written by Fritz Redlich. New York: Harper Torch Books, 1971.

Reinert, Erik S. “Schumpeter in the Context of Two Canons of Economic Thought.” Industry and Innovations (April/August 2002): 23-39.

Roscher, Wilhelm. Principles of Political Economy, Volume 1. Translated by John J. Lalor. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1878.

Schmoller, Gustav. “The Idea of Justice in Political Economy.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (March 1894): 1-41.

Veblen, Thorstein. “Gustav Schmoller’s Economics.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 16, no. 1 (November 1901): 69-93.

Veblen, Thorstein. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. London: The MacMillan Company, 1912.