Georg Friedrich Knapp

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Georg Friedrich Knapp
Born (1842-03-07)March 7, 1842
Gießen, Germany
Died February 20, 1926(1926-02-20) (aged 83)
Darmstadt, Germany
Nationality German
Institution University of Strasbourg
Field Monetary economics, statistics
School or
Chartalism, Historical school of economics
Influences Ferdinand Lassalle[1]
Influenced Ladislaus Bortkiewicz (Dr. phil. habil. 1895) (doctoral student), Kurt Singer (doctoral student)
Staatliche Theorie des Geldes, 1923

Georg Friedrich Knapp (German: [knap]; March 7, 1842 – February 20, 1926) was a German economist who in 1905 published The State Theory of Money, which founded the chartalist school of monetary theory, which argues that money's value derives from its issuance by an institutional form of government rather than spontaneously through relations of exchange.


Knapp studied in Munich, Berlin. and Göttingen, and in 1867 became director of the Statistical Bureau of Leipzig. In 1869 he was appointed assistant professor of economics and statistics in the University of Leipzig.[2] In 1874 he was appointed a professor of political economy at the University of Strasbourg, where he remained until 1918. He was also rector at Strasbourg in 1891–92 and 1907–08.[3]

In 1886 he founded the periodical Abhandlungen aus dem staatswissenschaftlichen Seminar zu Strassburg.


His earlier writings deal chiefly with population and agricultural topics.

  • Ueber die Ermittelung der Sterblichkeit (“On the ascertainment of mortality,” 1868)
  • Die Sterblichkeit der Sachsen (“Mortality in Saxony,” 1869)
  • Theorie des Bevölkerungswechsels (“The theory of population fluctuations,” 1874)
  • Die Bauernbefreiung und der Ursprung der Landarbeiter in den älteren Teilen Preussens (“The liberation of peasants and the origins of the agriculturalist in the older parts of Prussia, ”1887)
  • Die Landarbeiter in Knechtschaft und Freiheit (“The farmer in serfdom and freedom,” 1891)
  • Staatliche Theorie des Geldes (“The State Theory of Money”), München u. Leipzig, Duncker & Humblot, 1905. 3rd edition 1921. English edition of 1924 in PDF format
  • Grundherrschaft und Rittergut (“Land ownership and seignorial lands,” 1897)


Knapp was the father of Elly Heuss-Knapp. He raised his two daughters alone, uncommon at the time, after their Georgian-born mother, Knapp's wife, became mentally ill.

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