Lehrbuch Der NationalÖkonomie / Teaching Guide to Economics: Volume V/ Book 2: General Economics III

This is the final work in Pesch's groundbreaking magnum opus. He expands upon the just wage doctrine in discussion since the social encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891). Pesch states that workers should share in the profits of the company, be allowed to organize and work in humane conditions. His work is incorporated into the social encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (1931). Pesch warns against the abuses of capitalism, coming from entrepreneurial income stemming from ownership of capital and land, and the worst extremes of runaway inflation. Pesch demonstrates the need for insurance programs to care for the injured worker and the unemployed and for just treatment of the poor. Pesch designates as distortions in the economic process economic crises, the strike and lockout. He calls on workers and employers to moderate their differences and to establish a community that is a solidaristic system intent on building a better national economy.


This is the first English translation of the works of Heinrich Pesch, SJ (1854-1926). Pesch, a German Jesuit scholar and economist, wrote the longest, most exhaustive economics text ever written, one that deserves to be regarded as a kind of Summa Economica. The five-volume Lehrbuch der Nationalökonomie examines all serious economic thinking up until Pesch’s time, culling what was deficient, retaining what was worthwhile, and filling in what its author perceived to be lacking. The result was a design for an economic system that is opposed to both classically liberal capitalism and state socialism, based instead on Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophical premises. Pesch developed many of the basic principles which emerged in the social encyclicals of the Catholic Church.

Table of Contents

IV. The Determination of Income and Wealth
-General Theory of Income and Wealth Distribution
-The Income of the Worker
-Entrepreneurial Income
-Providing for the Poor and the Insurance System

V. Disturbances in the Economic Process
-Strikes and Lockout.