Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

B1, B31, N6

Key Words

Friedrich List, Germany, Innovation, National System of Political Economy, United States


This inquiry seeks to establish that Friedrich List offers an approach to national economic development based upon implementing policies. List conceptualizes and describes a situation wherein the United States, along with Germany and some other Continental European countries, face challenges dissimilar to Britain. List emphasizes an alternate approach towards national development that flies in the face of Adam Smith’s laissez-faire, free-trade prescription, focusing instead upon the powers of production, that he suggests, offer a proper measure of a nation’s wealth. List is a limited protectionist who advocates for national policies suited to a nation based upon its history and level of development. List theorizes that there are four stages of national economic development, advocating free trade in only the first and fourth stages, contending that free trade in the interim stages could prove harmful to a nation’s economic development. List proposes national policies and measures, demonstrating how these might lead towards the realization of a nation’s powers of production.


© Mitch B. Priestley

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