Famous German Economists

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

Find out more about the greatest German Economists, including Karl Marx, Helmut Schmidt, Friedrich Engels, Rosa Luxemburg and Martin Winterkorn.
Vote for Your Favourite German Economists
 1 
Karl Marx
(Philosopher & Economist - Famous for His Theory of 'Marxism' )
Karl Marx
7
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 
Rosa Luxemburg
(Revolutionary Socialist, Marxist Philosopher & Anti-War Activist)
Rosa Luxemburg
10
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
 3 
Hjalmar Schacht
(Reichsminister of Economics (1934 - 1937))
Hjalmar Schacht
4
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.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Klaus Schwab
(Founder and Executive Chairman of the 'World Economic Forum')
Klaus Schwab
7
Birthdate: March 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ravensburg, Germany

World-class economist Klaus Schwab, who established the World Economic Forum and is also its executive chairman, also has a mechanical engineering degree, along with a doctorate in engineering. He has been a University of Geneva professor and has been awarded a host of honorary doctorates and a French knighthood.

 5 
Ludwig Erhard
(Chancellor of West Germany from 1963 until 1966)
Ludwig Erhard
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fürth, Germany
Died: May 5, 1977

Ludwig Erhard was a German politician best remembered for his efforts to recover the economy in West Germany after the Second World War while serving as the Minister of Economic Affairs. From 1963 to 1966, he served as West Germany's chancellor. Although he was an influential politician, Erhard lacked support from former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, leading to Ludwig Erhard's resignation.

 6 
Martin Winterkorn
(Economist, University teacher)
Martin Winterkorn
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leonberg

While at the university, former Volkswagen Group chairman Martin Winterkorn excelled both in his major, metallurgy, and in football. Once featured on the Forbes list of Powerful People, he was later convicted of emissions cheating and fraud and now lives in the US as a fugitive.

 7 
Eduard Bernstein
(Former social democratic Marxist theorist)
Eduard Bernstein
3
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.

 8 
E. F. Schumacher
(Economist, Philosopher, Statistician)
E. F. Schumacher
3
Birthdate: August 16, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bonn
Died: September 4, 1977

German-born British economist E. F. Schumacher was one of the significant figures behind the formation of Britain’s post-World War II welfare state plans. His ground-breaking book Small Is Beautiful explained how capitalism was detrimental to culture. He also developed the concept of intermediate technology.

 9 
Walther Funk
(Journalist, Banker, Economist, Politician)
Walther Funk
3
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
 10 
Ferdinand Lassalle
(Writer, Politician, Economist, Lawyer, Philosopher)
Ferdinand Lassalle
3
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.

 11 
Friedrich List
(Economist, University teacher, Journalist)
Friedrich List
3
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.

 12 
Johann Heinrich von Thünen
(German Economist Known for His Theory of The Isolated State)
Johann Heinrich von Thünen
3
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.

 13 
Alfred Weber
(Economist, Educationist, Sociologist, University teacher)
Alfred Weber
3
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.

 14 
Andre Gunder Frank
(Sociologist, economic historian known for contributions to world-systems theory)
Andre Gunder Frank
2
Birthdate: February 24, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: April 23, 2005

Andre Gunder Frank was a German-American economic historian and sociologist who advocated dependency theory and world-systems theory. In the 1950s and 1960s, Frank taught subjects, such as economics and anthropology at several American universities. He then went on to serve as a professor at the University of Chile. From 1981 to 1994, he taught at the University of Amsterdam.

 15 
Ferdinand Tönnies
(One of the Founding Fathers of Classical German Sociology)
Ferdinand Tönnies
3
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. 

 16 
Wilhelm Röpke
(Economist)
Wilhelm Röpke
1
Birthdate: October 10, 1899
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Schwarmstedt, Germany
Died: February 12, 1966

Economist Wilhelm Röpke is remembered as one of the major figures of social market economy. A professor, too, he was against collectivism in economic and socio-political theory. His days in the Germany army in his younger days disgusted him. He supported the Austrian School and later pioneered ordoliberalism, or sociological neoliberalism.

 17 
Werner Sombart
(German Economist and Sociologist Known for Coining the Term ‘Late Capitalism')
Werner Sombart
2
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.

 18 
Gottfried Feder
(One of the Early Key Members of the Nazi Party)
Gottfried Feder
2
Birthdate: January 27, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: September 24, 1941

Gottfried Feder was a German economist and civil engineer. One of the most important members of the Nazi Party, Feder served as the party's economic theoretician during its formative years. In 1919, Gottfried Feder delivered one of his most famous lectures that lured Adolf Hitler into the Nazi Party.

 19 
Axel A. Weber
(7th President of the German Bundesbank)
Axel A. Weber
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kusel, Germany

Axel A. Weber is a German economist, banker, and professor. From 2004 to 2011, Weber served as the president of the German Bundesbank. He is currently serving as the chairman of the popular Swiss multinational investment bank, UBS Group AG. In 2015, Axel A. Weber was adjudged European Banker of the Year 2014 by the International Association of Economic Journalists.

 20 
Thilo Sarrazin
(Politician)
Thilo Sarrazin
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gera, Germany

Thilo Sarrazin is a German politician and writer who served as Berlin Senator of Finance from 2002 to 2009. A former member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Thilo Sarrazin is best known for his controversial book Germany is Doing Away with Itself in which he has criticized Germany's post-war immigration policy. The book sparked a nationwide controversy.

 21 
Samuel von Pufendorf
(Jurist and Political Philosopher Known for His Commentaries & Revisions of the Natural Law Theories)
Samuel von Pufendorf
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1632
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zwönitz, Germany
Died: October 26, 1694

Samuel von Pufendorf was a German jurist, economist, political philosopher, and historian. Among Pufendorf's major achievements are his revisions and commentaries of the natural law theories of Hugo Grotius and Thomas Hobbes. In Germany, Samuel von Pufendorf is best remembered as a precursor of an intellectual and philosophical movement called the Age of Enlightenment

 22 
Silvio Gesell
(Economist, Merchant, Politician, Entrepreneur, Esperantist)
Silvio Gesell
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1862
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sankt Vith
Died: March 11, 1930

Silvio Gesell was a German-Argentine theoretical economist, merchant, Georgist, social activist, libertarian socialist, anarchist, and founder of Freiwirtschaft. He is also credited with founding a magazine named Monetary and Land Reform which was closed soon after its establishment for financial reasons. Silvio Gesell is also credited with co-creating the magazine Der Physiokrat.

 23 
Bernd Lucke
(Politician)
Bernd Lucke
2
Birthdate: August 19, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Berlin, West Germany

Bernd Lucke is a German politician and economist who served as the leader of a political party named Alternative for Germany from 2013 to 2015; the party was co-founded by Lucke along with Eberhardt Alexander Gauland. Lucke, who is also credited with co-founding Electoral Alternative 2013, serves as a professor at the University of Hamburg.

 24 
Herman Gref
(Politician and Banker)
Herman Gref
0
Birthdate: February 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Panfilovo, Kazakhstan
 25 
Rudi Dornbusch
(Economist)
Rudi Dornbusch
1
Birthdate: June 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Krefeld, Germany
Died: July 25, 2002

Rudi Dornbusch was a German economist who lived and worked in the USA. Dornbusch is best remembered for his association with popular institutions, such as The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), The University of Chicago (UChicago), and The University of Rochester. Over the course of his career, Rudi Dornbusch received many prestigious honors, such as the Concord Prize. 

 26 
Rudolf Hilferding
(Economist, Politician, Writer)
Rudolf Hilferding
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1877
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: February 11, 1941

Austrian-born Marxist politician, socialist-theorist, and economist Rudolf Hilferding was the main theoretician for the German social democratic political party called Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) during the Weimar Republic. A prominent representative of the Viennese development of Marxism, Hilferding assumed office as Minister of Finance in two SPD led governments and is noted for his work Das Finanzkapital.

 27 
Hans-Werner Sinn
(Economist)
Hans-Werner Sinn
1
Birthdate: March 7, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brake, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Hans-Werner Sinn is a German economist best known for his association with the Ifo Institute for Economic Research where he served as the president from 1999 to 2016. Apart from serving on the advisory council of the German economy ministry, Hans-Werner Sinn is also currently serving as Professor Emeritus of Public Finance and Economics at the University of Munich.   

 28 
Eugen Dühring
(Philosopher, Political Economist, Prolific Writer, and a Leading German Adherent of Positivism)
Eugen Dühring
1
Birthdate: January 12, 1833
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 21, 1921

A strong supporter of positivism and a critic of Marxism, German philosopher Eugen Dühring was also a qualified lawyer. An eye ailment which took away his sight in the end made him quit law and focus on philosophy instead. A fine writer, too, he penned books such as Capital und Arbeit.

 29 
Ernst Engel
(German Statistician and Economist Who Is Famous for the 'Engel Curve' and 'Engel’s Law')
Ernst Engel
1
Birthdate: March 26, 1821
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: December 8, 1896

German statistician Ernst Engel conducted an interesting study on over 150 Belgian families to come to the conclusion that the lower a family’s income, the greater is their expense on food. His revelation came to be known as the Engel curve, or the Engel’s law. He was also part of various statistical departments.

 30 
Ludwig Bamberger
(German Economist, Politician and Revolutionary)
Ludwig Bamberger
1
Birthdate: July 22, 1823
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mainz, Germany
Died: March 14, 1899

A qualified lawyer, Ludwig Bamberger became inspired by radicalism during the Revolutions of 1848 but turned into a moderate liberal during Otto von Bismarck’s reign. He represented the National Liberal Party in the Reichstag. He not only standardized German coinage but also established the Reichsbank and adopted the gold currency.

 31 
Sir Hans Wolfgang Singer
1
Birthdate: November 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Elberfeld, Germany
Died: February 26, 2006

German-born Sir Hans Wolfgang Singer initially aspired to become a doctor before gaining an interest in economics and eventually gaining a Cambridge PhD. Known for his extensive research on developmental economics, he was one of the first economists to work for the United Nations. He was knighted for his achievements.

 32 
Lujo Brentano
(German Economist)
Lujo Brentano
1
Birthdate: December 18, 1844
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aschaffenburg, Germany
Died: September 9, 1931

German economist Lujo Brentano, best known for his association with the historical school of economics, conducted a study on English trade unions, comparing them with the guild system of the medieval times. A prominent pacifist, he was against the marked militarism in Germany. He also co-founded the German Economic Association.

 33 
Carl Grünberg
(Philosopher)
Carl Grünberg
1
Birthdate: February 10, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Focșani, Romania
Died: February 2, 1940

Carl Grünberg was a German Marxist philosopher of law and history. He studied law in Strasbourg and practiced as an advocate. He then proceeded to study political economy in Vienna and eventually became an academic reader. He was one of the founders of Austromarxism. He became the director of the Institute for Social Research in 1924. 

 34 
Rüdiger Frank
(Economist)
Rüdiger Frank
0
Birthdate: 1969 AD
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
 35 
Johann Karl Rodbertus
0
Birthdate: August 12, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greifswald, Germany
Died: December 6, 1875
 36 
Karl Otto Pöhl
(Economist)
Karl Otto Pöhl
0
Birthdate: December 1, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hannover, Germany
Died: December 9, 2014
 37 
Albert Schäffle
(Sociologist)
Albert Schäffle
0
Birthdate: February 24, 1831
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nürtingen, Germany
Died: December 25, 1903
Egor Frantsevich, Count Kankrin
0
Birthdate: December 7, 1774
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hanau, Germany
Died: October 3, 1845