Roscher, Wilhelm

Roscher, Wilhelm vĭl´hĕlm rôsh´ər [key], 1817–94, German economist. A professor at the Univ. of Leipzig (1848–94), he was a founder of the German historical school of economics, which rejected the classical laissez-faire view. Roscher's work emphasized the developmental character of capitalism through detailed historical analyses of the cultures of ancient nations. His System der Volkswirtschaft (5 vol., 1854–94 tr. of 13th ed., Principles of Political Economy, 1878) was an influential textbook in the second half of the 19th cent. His most significant work is Geschichte der National-oekonomik in Deutschland (1874).

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