Salz was born on December 31, 1881 in Staab, Bohemia (today Stod, Czech Republic) to Heinrich Salz and Rosa née Popper. After completing high school (Gymnasium) in Pilsen, Salz studied economics in Berlin, where he attended the lectures of Georg Simmel. He later studied in Munich and Heidelberg, where he befriended Friedrich Gundolf and came in contact with the Stefan George circle. He remained in contact with Stefan George until 1925. He was also a regular guest in the home of Max Weber. Salz completed his dissertation in 1903 under Lujo Brentano, earning a doctorate in political science (Doctor Rerum Politicarum). Salz ran his family's business in Staab for a short time thereafter.
Salz was the co-editor of Heidelberger Studien aus dem Institut für Sozial- und Staatswissenschaft and lectured at the Handelshochschule in Mannheim and at the Akademie der Arbeit in Frankfurt. In 1907, Salz took on a position as a lecturer at the University of Heidelberg. After further studies in Vienna and Prague, Salz completed his post-doctoral work (Habilitation) in 1909, entitled "Wallenstein als Merkantilist" ("Wallenstein as a Mercantilist"). He became an assistant professor at the University of Heidelberg in 1916.
In 1912, Salz married Sophie Kantorowicz, the sister of the historian Ernst Kantorowicz. They had three children, Beate, Judith, and Henry.
Salz served in the Austro-Hungarian army during the World War I. He held a post as an economic adviser to Djemal Pascha, an assignment which took him to Constantinople and Damascus and awakened Salz's interest in Islam although he himself was a religious Jew.
In 1933, Salz was forced to leave his position at the University of Heidelberg because of his Jewish faith. He lived one year in England, where he held a position as a guest professor at the University of Cambridge. In 1934, he immigrated to the USA and became a professor at the Ohio State University. He never returned to Germany.
- Beiträge zur Geschichte und Kritik der Lohnfondstheorie, Stuttgart: Cotta, 1905.
- Geschichte der böhmischen Industrie in der Neuzeit, München: Duncker & Humblot, 1913.
- Für die Wissenschaft gegen die Gebildeten unter ihren Verächtern, München: Drei Masken Verlag, 1921.
- Macht und Wirtschaftsgesetz, Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1930.
- Das Wesen des Imperialismus, Leipzig: Teubner, 1931.
- Wallenstein als Merkantilist, in: Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Deutschen in Böhmen 47, 4 (1909), 433-461.
- (1944). The Present Position of Economics. American Economic Review 34(1), 15-24.
- (1948). The Metamorphosis of Power. Synopsis: Festgabe für Alfred Weber, 459-476.
- (1959). A Note from a Student of Simmel’s. In Kurt Wolff (Ed.) Georg Simmel 1858-1918. 233-236.
- Wittebur, Klemens. Die Deutsche Soziologie im Exil. 1933 - 1945, Münster; Hamburg: Lit., 1991 (Dissertationsschrift von 1989). Starting at page 71.
- Schönhärl, Korinna. (2009). Wissen und Visionen. Theorie und Politik der Ökonomen im Stefan George-Kreis. Berlin.
- Fried, Johannes. Zwischem "Geheimem Deutschland" und "geheimer Akademie der Arbeit". Der Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Arthur Salz. In: Barbara Schlieben (Ed.), Geschichtsbilder im George-Kreis: Wege zur Wissenschaft. Göttingen: 2004. 249-302.
- Strauss, H. A., Röder, W., Rosenblatt, B., and Caplan, H. (1983). "Salz, Arthur." International Biographical Dictionary of Central European émigrés 1933-1945. Vol. 2. p. 1015.
- Strauss, H. A.; Röder, W.; Rosenblatt, B., Caplan, H. (1983). “Salz, Arthur.” International Biographical Dictionary of Central European émigrés 1933-1945. Vol. 2. p. 1015.
- Literature by and about Arthur Salz in the German National Library catalogue
- Arthur Salz Collection (Leo Baeck Institute) Arthur Salz Collection at the Leo Baeck Institute (New York, NY)
- The LBI Archives hold correspondence from Arthur Salz as part of Der Neue Merkur Collection, 1919-1925.
- The International Institute of Social History, located in Amersterdam, holds correspondence between Arthur Salz and Gottfried Salomon-Delatour as part of the Gottfried Salomon-Delatour Papers.