Thorstein Bunde Veblen (30 July 1857 – 3 August 1929) was an American economist and sociologist, who during his lifetime emerged as a well-known critic of capitalism.

In his best-known book, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), Veblen coined the concept of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous leisure. Historians of economics regard Veblen as the founding father of the institutional economics school. Contemporary economists still theorize Veblen’s distinction between “institutions” and “technology”, known as the Veblenian dichotomy.

As a leading intellectual of the Progressive Era in the United States of America, Veblen attacked production for profit. His emphasis on conspicuous consumption greatly influenced economists who engaged in non-Marxist critiques of capitalism and of technological determinism.

Books in order of publication:

The Theory of the Leisure Class. (1899). New York: MacMillan. The Theory of the Leisure Class.

The Theory of Business Enterprise. (1904). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

The Instinct of Workmanship and the State of the Industrial Arts. (1914). New York: MacMillan.

Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution. (1915). New York: MacMillan.

An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of Its Perpetuation. (1917). New York: MacMillan.

The Higher Learning In America: A Memorandum On the Conduct of Universities By Business Men. (1918). New York: B. W. Huebsch.

The Place of Science in Modern Civilisation and Other Essays. (1919). New York: B. W. Huebsch.

The Vested Interests and the Common Man. (1919). New York: B. W. Huebsch.

The Engineers and the Price System. (1921). New York: B. W. Huebsch.

Absentee Ownership and Business Enterprise in Recent Times: The Case of America. (1923). New York: B. W. Huebsch