Economic Influences

John Keynes is one of the most influential economists largely due to his theory of Keynesian economics, which dealt with his (Skorburg, 2009). His work is linked to the Great Depression, partly because he advocated public and governmental spending to base national economies on. His most celebrated piece of literature is General Theory.

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Adam Smith is the quintessential Age of Enlightenment economist who published Wealth of Nations in 1776, which posited the viewpoint that free enterprise and laissez faire policies would benefit the free market system.

People wouldn’t ordinarily link Karl Marx to a free market system since he advocated the exact opposite of that, a form of communism that results in socialism, but his Communist Manifesto — which presaged the Russian Revolution — inspired many free market communists to oppose his ideas.

Friedrich Von Hayek’s theories, which are included in Road to Serfdom, his most noted work, are some of the reactionary thoughts opposing Marx and championing both democracy and a free market enterprise in the wake of World War II.

Ludwig Von Mises was a member of the Austrian School of Economics with Von Hayek and was influential in counteracting socialist thought by demonstrating that price mechanisms, free property and free markets produced beneficial economies (Kates, 2009).

Joseph Schumpter was another member of the Austrian School of Economics and emphasized the role of business spending in a free market economy. He is best known for his piece of literature entitled Business Cycles which details business theory and was published at the outset of World War II.

Many of Milton Freidman’s economic notions opposed inflation brought on by Keynesian economics and with little government intervention. His works were influential during the Cold War as well as today.

Freidrich Engels’ notions of socialist and communist economies were highly influential with partner, Marx, as evidenced by the former’s input in the Communist Manifesto and on the socialist thought that would become pervasive during the latter portion of the 19th century.

Maurice Allais is another noted 20th century economists who published a number of key texts (such as In Quest of An Economic Discipline, Part I, Pure Economics, and 1947’s Economy and Interest) during the aftermath of World War II which emphasized governmental monopolies in a free market enterprise. He earned the Nobel Prize award in this field in the 1980’s.


Kates, S. (1999). Top-ten economists: — one view. Retrieved from

Skorburg, J. (2009). The top 10 most influential economists of all time. Retrieved from