Lujo Brentano
Born(1844-12-18)18 December 1844
Died9 September 1931(1931-09-09) (aged 86)
Alma materUniversity of Göttingen (Ph.D.)
Trinity College Dublin
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Munich
Doctoral advisorAdolph Wagner (Habitilation)
Johann von Helferich [da] (Ph.D.)
Doctoral studentsTheodor Heuss
Robert René Kuczynski
Werner Hegemann
Fukuda Tokuzō
Hans Ehrenberg

Ludwig Joseph Brentano (/brɛnˈtɑːn/; German: [bʁɛnˈtaːno]; 18 December 1844 – 9 September 1931) was an eminent German economist and social reformer.


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Lujo Brentano, born in Aschaffenburg into a distinguished German Catholic intellectual family (originally of Italian descent),[1] attended school in Augsburg and Aschaffenburg. He studied in Dublin (Trinity College), Münster, Munich, Heidelberg (doctorate in law), Würzburg, Göttingen (doctorate in economics), and Berlin (habilitation in economics, 1871).

He was a professor of economics and state sciences at the universities of Breslau, Strasbourg, Vienna, Leipzig, and most importantly, Munich (1891–1914). With Ernst Engel, the statistician, he made an investigation of the English trade unions.[2]

In 1872, he became involved in an extended dispute with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Brentano accused Marx of falsifying a quotation from an 1863 speech by William Gladstone.[3]

In 1914, he signed the Manifesto of the Ninety-Three. After the revolution of November 1918, he served in minister-president Kurt Eisner's government of the People's State of Bavaria as People's Commissar (Minister) for Trade, but only for some days in December 1918.[citation needed]

Brentano died in Munich in 1931, aged 86.[citation needed]


Brentano was a Kathedersozialist (reform-minded) and a founding member of the Verein für Socialpolitik. His influence on the social market economy, and on many Germans who would be leaders just after the end of World War II, can hardly be overrated. He also influenced later economists, such as his doctoral student Arthur Salz.

Note: It is often mistakenly claimed that Brentano was called Ludwig Joseph, and that "Lujo" was a kind of nickname or contraction. This is incorrect; while he was given his name after a Ludwig and a Joseph, Lujo was his real and legal first name. (See his autobiography, Mein Leben..., below, p. 18.)


See also


  1. ^ Lujo Brentano was the son of the writer Christian Brentano, nephew of writers Clemens Brentano and Bettina von Arnim, two major figures in the romantic movement in German literature, and the brother of Franz Brentano, a philosopher whose students included Edmund Husserl, Alexius Meinong and Sigmund Freud, among others.
  2. ^ Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Brentano, Lujo" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  3. ^ Friedrich Engels, In the Case of Brentano vs. Marx - Regarding Alleged Faslifications of Quotation: The Story and Documents. (1891)
  4. ^ Rudolf Steiner, Education as a Force for Social Change, Anthroposophic Press, 1997, Lecture 1 (Dornach / August 9, 1919): "I recently mentioned the example of the famous professor Lujo Brentano, a leading modern economist in Middle Europe who recently wrote an article entitled “The Industrialist.” In it he develops three characteristics of an industrialist."