Gyula Kautz, a great exponent of modern Hungarian economics, born 175 years ago
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The cameralism of Sonnenfels was on the compulsory economics syllabus of Hungarian colleges in Gyula Kautz's student days, right up to the 1850s. But Kautz as a teacher broke with cameralism and placed the German historical school on theoretical foundations. When Kautz joined it, the German historical school counted as a modern school of economics. The study presents its main characteristics. Influenced by the school, Kautz starts his examination not the individual, but from society, prompted not just by selfinterest, but by a 'well-conceived interest' that encompasses general condition, philanthropy and morality as well. Where this is absent, he argues, a guiding hand from above - the regulatory function of the state -is required. This takes the place in Kautz of Adam Smith's invisible hand. In rejecting the abstraction method, Kautz strays in his research into economic laws. But he points to attributes of economic activity ignored by the dominant schools of the day, by not confining his ideas to the rigid logical frames of economic systems intent on seeking laws and by considering factors that an economist must ignore during abstraction. He puts before us a lively account of the actors in the economy and consequent economic processes. Kautz takes account of the historical development of economic processes and the effect of institutional factors on the economy. The study shows the influence of Kautz on some prominent later Hungarian economists and the similarity of his conclusions to t hose of important economists today.
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