The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Weber, Max (1864–1920)

  • David Beetham
Reference work entry


Max Weber was one of the leading historical political economists in the Germany of the 1890s. Weber’s early work in political economy reflected the distinctive concerns of a younger generation of the Historical School, which sought to demonstrate the theoretical character of the concepts used in historical economics and the historical presuppositions of theory. Over time, Weber’s research became increasingly wideranging and theoretical, involving an elucidation of the character of Western rationalism as applied to the basic structures of economy and society, and reflecting a shift in his disciplinary focus of interest from political economy to sociology.


Bureaucracy Capital accumulation Class Class conflict Conspicuous consumption Division of labour Exploitation Factor demand Historical materialism Historical School German Individualism Labour theory of value Managerial revolution Menger, C Modernization Planning Private property Protestant ethic thesis Surplus value Value judgements Weber, M. 

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  3. Swatos, W., and L. Kaelbar (eds.). 2005. The protestant ethic turns 100: Essays on the centenary of the Weber Thesis. Boulder: Paradigm Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Swedberg, R. 2005. The Max Weber dictionary: Key words and central concepts. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Turner, S. (ed.). 2000. The Cambridge companion to Weber. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Beetham
    • 1
  1. 1.