Famous 19th Century Economists

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Economists, including Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, John Maynard Keynes, Thomas Robert Malthus and Friedrich Hayek.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Karl Marx

Karl Marx
4
Famous As: Philosopher & Economist Famous for His Theory of 'Marxism' and Book 'Das Kapital'
Birthdate: May 5, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trier, Germany
Died: March 14, 1883

Karl Marx, the philosopher, economist, political theorist and socialist revolutionary, is best-known for the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto and the three-volume Das Kapital. His theories, called Marxism, maintained that class conflict leads to the development of human societies and that internal tension were inherent in capitalism, which would ultimately be replaced by the socialist mode of production.

 2 John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill
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Famous As: Philosopher, Economist, Politician
Birthdate: May 20, 1806
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pentonville, London, England
Died: May 8, 1873
Nineteenth-century philosopher John Stuart Mill is best remembered for his work On Liberty, which spoke of personal freedom and "the harm principle.” His The Subjection of Women was one of the first works written by a male author that promoted women's rights. He supported Jeremy Bentham's ethical utilitarianism.

 3 Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus
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Famous As: Political Economist
Birthdate: February 13, 1766
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Surrey, England
Died: December 23, 1834

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English economist and demographer, who viewed poverty as man’s unavoidable destiny. Author of An Essay on the Principle of Population; he believed that increase in national food production results in feeling of well-being, leading to population growth, which in turn results in poverty. Commonly referred as Malthusianism, it made immediate impact on British social policy.

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 4 Alfred Marshall

Alfred Marshall
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 26, 1842
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bermondsey
Died: July 13, 1924

One of the co-founders of the English neoclassical school of economics, 19th-century economist Alfred Marshall is best remembered for his path-breaking book Principles of Economics. His studies on topics such as marginal utility, consumer’s surplus, and the elasticity of demand, enriched the field of economics for years to come.

 5 Ludwig von Mises

Ludwig von Mises
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Famous As: Economist, Philosopher
Birthdate: September 29, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: October 10, 1973
A polyglot at age 12, Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises grew up to acquire a doctorate in law and taught at the universities of New York and Vienna. Known for his works such as The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, he supported free-market liberalism and opposed socialism. 

 6 Vilfredo Pareto

Vilfredo Pareto
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Famous As: Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 15, 1848
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 19, 1923

A qualified civil engineer, Vilfredo Pareto had initially worked for the railways and the ironworks. However, he gradually deviated to philosophy, sociology, and politics and gained fame for his application of math to economic issues and his introduction of Pareto efficiency. Mind and Society remains his best-known work.

 7 Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg
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Famous As: Marxist economist
Birthdate: March 5, 1871
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zamosc, Poland
Died: January 15, 1919
Polish Marxist and socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg was a member of parties such as the SPD, the USPD, and the KPD. Luxemburg was an anti-war activist and taught economics and Marxism at SPD's Berlin training center. She was assassinated by the Freikorps troops during the German Revolution
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 8 Irving Fisher

Irving Fisher
3
Famous As: Economist, Statistician
Birthdate: February 27, 1867
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saugerties
Died: April 29, 1947

 9 William Lyon Mackenzie King

William Lyon Mackenzie King
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Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: December 17, 1874
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Died: July 22, 1950

Canadian statesman and politician Mackenzie King OM CMG PC, was the 10th prime minister of Canada. He held the position for three non-consecutive terms with a total of over 21 years in office and emerged as the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Canada. He remained instrumental in laying the foundations of the Canadian welfare state.

 10 Thorstein Veblen

Thorstein Veblen
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: July 30, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cato, Wisconsin, United States
Died: August 3, 1929

 11 Henry George

Henry George
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Famous As: Economist, Politician, Writer
Birthdate: September 2, 1839
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: October 29, 1897

Henry George was a political economist and journalist. His work was very popular during the Progressive Era and sparked many reform movements. The economic philosophy known as Georgism is inspired by him. His book Progress and Poverty, considered his magnum opus, sold millions of copies worldwide. He was a vocal advocate for women's political rights. 

 12 Carl Menger

Carl Menger
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Famous As: Economist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 23, 1840
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nowy Sącz
Died: February 26, 1921

Carl Menger made significant contributions to the marginal utility theory and the subjective theory of value. Born to a lawyer father, he too studied law and also worked as a journalist for a while. He later taught at the University of Vienna and also established the Austrian School of economics.

 13 Hjalmar Schacht

Hjalmar Schacht
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Famous As: Reichsminister of Economics (1934-37)
Birthdate: January 22, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tinglev, Denmark
Died: June 3, 1970

German banker Hjalmar Schacht was appreciated for his role in saving the Weimar Republic from inflation and later served as the Reichsminister of Economics under Adolf Hitler. Following as assassination attempt on Hitler, her was imprisoned, but was later freed and then set up his own bank in Düsseldorf.

 14 Karl Polanyi

Karl Polanyi
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Famous As: Economist, Anthropologist, Economic historian, Historian, Journalist, Philosopher, Writer, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: October 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: April 23, 1964

Apart from being a political economist, Karl Polanyi was also a prominent Hungarian political leader. The Great Transformation remains his best-known work. He taught at institutes such as the Columbia University and is known for proposing the idea of a cultural version of economics known as substantivism.

 15 Léon Walras

Léon Walras
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Famous As: Economist, University teacher, Mathematician
Birthdate: December 16, 1834
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Évreux
Died: January 5, 1910

Léon Walras was a French mathematical economist and Georgist. He is known for formulating the marginal theory of value independently of William Stanley Jevons. Considered a pioneer in the development of general equilibrium theory, he authored the book Éléments d'économie politique pure. He is also considered one of the three leaders of the marginalist revolution. 

 16 Frederic Bastiat

Frederic Bastiat
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 30, 1801
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bayonne, France
Died: December 24, 1850

An ardent follower of Adam Smith’s ideas, French economist Frederic Bastiat propagated the concept of free trade. Apart from launching his journal Le Libre-Échange, he also penned the iconic satire Sophismes économiques and his most notable work The Law. He also introduced what later came to be known as opportunity cost.

 17 David Ricardo

David Ricardo
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: April 18, 1772
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: September 11, 1823
One of the greatest classical economists ever, David Ricardo had started working with his stockbroker father at age 14. His laissez-faire policies revolutionized 19th-century economics and its various concepts, such as the distribution theory and the wage theory. He had also been an MP from Portarlington.

 18 Harry Dexter White

Harry Dexter White
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 29, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 16, 1948

 19 Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 15, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Besançon, France
Died: January 19, 1865

Often referred to as the Father of Anarchism, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was born to a tavern keeper and grew up working on farms. Largely educated on scholarships, he later became known for his slogan “Property is theft!” and his idea of mutualism. His notable works include What is Property?

 20 Carl Friedrich Goerdeler

Carl Friedrich Goerdeler
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 31, 1884
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Piła, Poland
Died: February 2, 1945

Born to Prussian parents, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler grew up to be part of the German army during World War I. He later served as the mayor of Leipzig and strongly condemned the Holocaust. He was eventually hanged by the Gestapo for being part of the 20th July coup against Adolf Hitler.

 21 William Beveridge

William Beveridge
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: March 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rangpur, Bangladesh
Died: March 16, 1963

Born to a British civil servant in British India, William Beveridge was educated at Oxford. While he initially excelled in math and classics, he later studied law. A leading economist, he created the Beveridge Report, which formulated the welfare state policies in the U.K. after World War II.

 22 Eduard Bernstein

Eduard Bernstein
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Famous As: Former social democratic Marxist theorist
Birthdate: January 6, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: December 18, 1932

Though a staunch socialist and Marxist, Eduard Bernstein was also one of the biggest critics of Marxist theory and thus gained the nickname The Father of Revisionism. He spotted many loopholes in Karl Marx’s tenets, such as the eventual collapse of the capitalist economy. He also represented Brandenburg in the Reichstag.

 23 William Stanley Jevons

William Stanley Jevons
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: September 1, 1835
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: August 13, 1882

A pioneer of the mathematical method in economics, William Stanley Jevons was the son of an iron merchant and economic enthusiast. Remembered for his studies on marginal utility and supply/demand, he penned the iconic work A General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy and also wrote on Britain’s depleting coal supplies.

 24 Jean-Baptiste Say

Jean-Baptiste Say
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: January 5, 1767
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: November 15, 1832

French economist Jean-Baptiste Say supported free trade and competition. Scholars of economics know him for his law of markets, which states that supply creates its own demand. He had experimented with many jobs, from being a journalist to owning a cotton mill, and eventually became an economics professor.

 25 Knut Wicksell

Knut Wicksell
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: December 20, 1851
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: May 3, 1926

A prominent name in the field of economics, Knut Wicksell was a Swedish economist known for his pioneering work in monetary theory. His work has influenced numerous economists like James M. Buchanan and John Maynard Keynes and various economic schools of thought like Keynesian and Austrian school. During his career, he also worked as a professor at the Lund University.

 26 Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins

Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sipson, Middlesex, England
Died: May 15, 1984

A leading free-market and neoclassical economist, Lionel Charles Robbins, or Baron Robbins, was known for his association with the London School of Economics. The son of a farmer, he trained to fight at World War I but went back home wounded. He also laid down his own definition of economics.

 27 Ferdinand Lassalle

Ferdinand Lassalle
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Famous As: Writer, Politician, Economist, Lawyer, Philosopher
Birthdate: April 11, 1825
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: August 31, 1864

Enamoured by the ideas of French and German philosophers, Ferdinand Lassalle initially aspired to be a lecturer. He later joined the socialist cause and spearheaded Germany’s social democratic movement. He also introduced terms such as the iron law of wages and concepts such as Lassallism, or achieving socialist ideals through the state.

 28 Walther Funk

Walther Funk
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Famous As: Journalist, Banker, Economist, Politician
Birthdate: August 18, 1890
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yasnaya Polyana
Died: May 31, 1960
German economist Walther Funk had joined the army during World War I but later quit for being medically unfit and started his career as a journalist. After joining the Nazi Party, he quickly rose to become the Third Reich’s economics minister and the president of the Reichsbank

 29 Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours

Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: December 14, 1739
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 7, 1817

Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours was a French-American writer and economist. An ambitious man, he served as French inspector general of commerce under Louis XVI. He moved to America during the French Revolution and was later elected a member of the American Philosophical Society. His son Éleuthère Irénée du Pont founded E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. 

 30 Friedrich List

Friedrich List
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Famous As: Economist, University teacher, Journalist
Birthdate: August 6, 1789
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Reutlingen
Died: November 30, 1846

German-American economist Friedrich List is remembered as one of the pioneers of the historical school of economics. He supported tariffs on imported goods to help the domestic market. He is also known for his pamphlet Outlines of American Political Economy and his book The National System of Political Economy.

 31 Francis Ysidro Edgeworth

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth
2
Famous As: Economist, Statistician, Lawyer, Mathematician
Birthdate: February 8, 1845
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: County Longford
Died: February 13, 1926

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth was an Anglo-Irish economist and statistician, known for his significant contributions to the methods of statistics. An autodidact in mathematics and economics, he imaginatively applied mathematics to the fields of economics and statistics, writing several books, including Mathematical Psychics, presenting new ideas on various topics like on the generalized utility function, the indifference curve etc.  .

 32 Harold Laski

Harold Laski
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: March 24, 1950

Political scientist and Labour Party member Harold Laski later deviated to Communism. Born to a cotton merchant, he studied at Oxford and then taught at Harvard. Remembered for his works such as A Grammar of Politics and Authority in the Modern State, he was also a Zionism supporter.

 33 Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk

Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
1
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: February 12, 1851
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Austrian Empire
Died: August 27, 1914

A major advocate of the Austrian school of economics, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk made major reforms as part of the Austrian ministry of finance, such as imposition of the gold standard. He was also one of the first to oppose Karl Marx’s theory of exploitation of workers.

 34 John R. Commons

John R. Commons
1
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: October 13, 1862
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hollansburg, Ohio, United States
Died: May 11, 1945

 35 Johann Heinrich von Thünen

Johann Heinrich von Thünen
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 24, 1783
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wangerland, Germany
Died: September 22, 1850

Johann Heinrich von Thünen was a German economist best remembered for his two-volume treatise The Isolated State. An influential and important 19th-century economist, Thünen is also credited with popularizing Location theory, which has become an important part of regional science, economic geography, and spatial economics.

 36 Alfred Weber

Alfred Weber
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Famous As: Economist, Educationist, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 30, 1868
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erfurt
Died: May 2, 1958

Alfred Weber was a German geographer, sociologist, economist, and theoretician of culture. Weber's work and contribution played a key role in the progression of modern economic geography. The younger brother of Max Weber, Alfred Weber contributed theories for analyzing social processes, social change as a confluence of civilization, and culture.

 37 Ferdinand Tönnies

Ferdinand Tönnies
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Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: July 26, 1855
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oldenswort, Germany
Died: April 9, 1936

Ferdinand Tönnies was a German economist, sociologist, and philosopher. He is credited with co-founding the German Society for Sociology where he served as the president from 1909 to 1933. Widely regarded as the first prominent German sociologist, Tönnies contributed significantly to field studies and sociological theory. Ferdinand Tönnies is often counted among the founders of classical German sociology. 

 38 Benjamin Tucker

Benjamin Tucker
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Famous As: Journalist, Philosopher, Economist, Translator, Anarchist
Birthdate: April 17, 1854
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dartmouth
Died: June 22, 1939

 39 Henry Hazlitt

Henry Hazlitt
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Famous As: Journalist, Economist, Philosopher
Birthdate: November 28, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: July 9, 1993

 40 Henri de Saint-Simon

Henri de Saint-Simon
3
Famous As: Political Theorist
Birthdate: October 17, 1760
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 19, 1825

Henri de Saint-Simon was a French political, economic, and socialist theorist and businessman. His ideology was the inspiration behind the political and economic movement known as Saint-Simonianism. He left a major influence in the fields of politics, economics, sociology, and philosophy of science. His ideas also inspired and influenced the concept of utopian socialism.  

 41 John Bates Clark

John Bates Clark
1
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: January 26, 1847
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: March 21, 1938

 42 Arthur Cecil Pigou

Arthur Cecil Pigou
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 18, 1877
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ryde, Isle of Wight, England
Died: March 7, 1959

One of Alfred Marshall’s favorite students, Arthur Cecil Pigou was initially a history scholar at King's College but later deviated to economics. One of the most significant figures of neoclassical economics, he specialized in welfare economics and penned pathbreaking works such as The Economics of Welfare.

 43 Henry Sidgwick

Henry Sidgwick
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: May 31, 1838
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skipton, Yorkshire, England
Died: August 28, 1900

An influential English ethical philosopher and economist of the Victorian era, Henry Sidgwick is perhaps best known for his utilitarian treatise The Methods of Ethics. He promoted higher education of women and co-founded Newnham College. He remained a member of the Metaphysical Society and co-founded and served as first president of the Society for Psychical Research.

 44 Werner Sombart

Werner Sombart
2
Famous As: Former Economist, Sociologist known for Coining the term
Birthdate: January 19, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ermsleben, Falkenstein, Germany
Died: May 18, 1941

Werner Sombart was a German sociologist and economist. He was one of the 20th century's most important Continental European social scientists who served as the leader of the Youngest Historical School. Werner Sombart is credited with coining the phrase late capitalism. He is also remembered for his magnum opus, Der moderne Kapitalismus.

 45 Georgios Papandreou

Georgios Papandreou
3
Famous As: Politician, Economist, Diplomat, Lawyer
Birthdate: February 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kalentzi
Died: November 1, 1968

Georgios Papandreou was a Greek politician who served as the Prime Minister of Greece on three occasions between 1944 and 1965. Papandreou, whose illustrious political career spanned over 50 years, is also credited with founding the Papandreou political dynasty. Georgios Papandreou was also counted among the best orators in Greece.

 46 Simon Newcomb

Simon Newcomb
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Famous As: Astronomer, Mathematician, Economist, Novelist, Writer, Teacher, University teacher, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: March 12, 1835
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nova Scotia
Died: July 11, 1909

Initially a herbalist’s apprentice, Simon Newcomb later deviated to mathematics and astronomy. Born to a schoolteacher, he had loved math since age 5 but wasn’t formally educated. He later joined Harvard University, taught math at the US Navy, detected locations of celestial bodies, and wrote a science-fiction novel, too.

 47 Gyula Andrássy

Gyula Andrássy
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Famous As: Prime Minister of Hungary (1867–1871)
Birthdate: March 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vlachovo, Slovakia
Died: February 18, 1890

Gyula Andrássy not only served as Hungary’s prime minister but also created the 1879 the Austro-German alliance with German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. He remained associated with Hungarian public affairs even after his retirement. He was the first Magyar statesman to hold a long-term European position.

 48 Frank Hyneman Knight

Frank Hyneman Knight
2
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: November 7, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: White Oak Township, Illinois
Died: April 15, 1972

 49 Piero Sraffa

Piero Sraffa
2
Famous As: Founder of the Neo-Ricardian School of Economics
Birthdate: August 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: September 3, 1983
One of the greatest Italian economists, Piero Sraffa is best remembered for his iconic book Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, which established the neo-Ricardian school of economics. Born a Jew, he later became an agnostic. An London School of Economics alumnus, he later taught at Cambridge.

 50 Harold Innis

Harold Innis
2
Famous As: Economist, Historian, Philosopher, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: November 5, 1894
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Otterville, Ontario
Died: November 8, 1952

Born into a farming community, Harold Innis was encouraged to be a Baptist minister but became a political economist and academic instead. The former University of Toronto professor is remembered for his work on the staple thesis. He had also fought on the front lines in World War I.