The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Dietzel, Carl August (1829–1884)

  • Alan Peacock
Reference work entry


German writer on public finance; Privatdozent of Heidelberg and later Professor of Public Finance, Marburg. Dietzel was struck by the contrast between British views on public debt such as those of Hume – ‘if the Nation does not destroy Credit, Credit will destroy the Nation’ – and the fact that the notable growth in British public debt during the 19th century had not been accompanied by the ruin of the British economy. Writing in 1855 he attacked the orthodox view that state borrowing required a Sinking Fund, arguing that government investment financed by renewable loans was a necessary condition for the growth in national production. His views were endorsed by several prominent German writers, notably Adolph Wagner, and were recalled during the post-1936 debate in support of Keynesian views on public debt policy.

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  1. Stettner, W. 1948. Carl Dietzel, public expenditures and the public debt. In Income, employment and public policy: Essays in honor of Alvin H. Hansen, ed. L.A. Metzler. New York: Norton.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Peacock
    • 1
  1. 1.