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Martin Luther's Doctrine on Trade and Price in Its Literary Context


  • Odd Langholm


This paper examines some of Martin Luther's economic ideas from a largely neglected point of view. Religious issues naturally dominated his writings. When he turned to economic subjects, his primary focus was on the usurious practices of the banks and trading companies of his times. His utterances on those subjects, in form and content, present a biased picture of his thought. Having received an academic training at the highest level, in scholastic philosophy, including scholastic economics, Luther wrote with great authority about market behavior, about cost and demand as price determinants, and argued against economic coercion, collusion, and certain monopolistic practices. It is frequently possible to tie Luther in with medieval literary traditions on these subjects and sometimes to identify a specific source.

Suggested Citation

  • Odd Langholm, 2009. "Martin Luther's Doctrine on Trade and Price in Its Literary Context," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 89-107, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:41:y:2009:i:1:p:89-107

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