Friedrich List: protectionism to free trade

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The purpose of this thesis is to develop and substantiate the arguments to show that List was not a protectionist, as he is commonly viewed, but rather a proponent of free trade. However, his advocacy of free trade was conditional on the stage of development of the nation concerned. List contrasted Smith's cosmopolitan economy with his own national economy by interposing the "nation" between the individual and the cosmopolitan economy, and distinguished between Smith's theory of exchange value and his own theory of productive power. These powers to create value are more important than value itself. These concepts, which are the distinguishing characteristics of his system, are incorporated into his stage theory to show that different policies are required in different stages of economic development. In terms of his own problem orientation, this meant an advocacy of protective tariffs for the Germany of his time to be able to develop and compete with Britain. Once economic development has reached the agricultural manufacturing- trading stage, free trade was the most conclusive economic policy.
Bibliography: p. 67-69.
Itani, I. I. (1985). Friedrich List: protectionism to free trade (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/17982