Nineteenth century Austrian economist and minister of Finance
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  • Eugen Böhm von Bawerk

    Eugen Böhm Ritter von Bawerk (born Eugen Böhm, 12 February 1851 – 27 August 1914) was an Austrian economist who made important contributions to the development of the Austrian School of economics.

    Reference

    Böhm-Bawerk, Eugen von (1851-1914), by Lawrence H. White, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk was a professor of economics at the Universities of Innsbruck and Vienna, a finance minister of Austria for many years, a major contributor to the 'Austrian School' of economic thought, and an important critic of Marxism. Building on the work of Carl Menger, he developed a theory of capital and interest centered on 'the relation between present and future in economic life.' His analysis, in turn, provided the starting point for the theory of business cycles developed by his student Ludwig von Mises and by Friedrich A. Hayek."
    Related Topic: Capitalism
    Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (1851-1914), The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
    Includes picture and list of selected works
    "Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk was one of the leading members of the Austrian school of economics. ... Böhm-Bawerk's work became so well known that before World War I, his Marxist contemporaries regarded the Austrians as their typical bourgeois, intellectual enemies. His theories of interest and capital were catalysts in the development of economics ... Böhm-Bawerk gave three reasons why interest rates are positive. First, people's marginal utility of income will fall over time because they expect higher income in the future. Second, for psychological reasons the marginal utility of a good declines with time."

    Born

    12 Feb 1851, Eugen Böhm, in Brünn, Moravia (Brno), Czech Republic

    Died

    27 Aug 1914, in Kramsach, Tirol, Austria

    Biography

    Laissez Faire Books
    "The great Austrian economist Böhm-Bawerk (1851-1914) extended the free market theories of his teacher Carl Menger. Böhm-Bawerk showed that contrary to Karl Marx, who claimed that capital markets exploited workers, capital is essential for economic growth, and interest performs vital functions. Böhm-Bawerk's best-known work was Capital and Interest (1884). Other famous works include: The Exploitation Theory of Socialism-Communism and Value and Price. ... Böhm-Bawerk's most important student at the University of Vienna was Ludwig von Mises."

    Articles

    Editorial: Turgot and the Battle Against Physiocracy, by Leonard Liggio, Literature of Liberty, 1979
    Editorial essay for volume II, number 1; discusses those who influenced Turgot and those influenced by him
    "Turgot's Réflexions also adumbrated the concept of marginal utility later worked out by Carl Menger with J. B. Say as an important intermediary. Carl Menger's successor and pupil in the Austrian School tradition, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, was indebted to Turgot for his development of modern capital theory. Böhm-Bawerk's Heidelberg 1876 seminar paper (now in the possession of F. A. Hayek) and his The Positive Theory of Capital (1889) show his reliance upon Turgot."
    Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk: A Sesquicentennial Appreciation, by Richard Ebeling, The Freeman, Feb 2001
    Broad biographical essay, including Böhm-Bawerk relationships with Menger, Mises and Schumpeter, and his two major works
    "Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk was born on February 12, 1851 in Brno, capital of the Austrian province of Moravia (now the eastern portion of the Czech Republic). He died on August 27, 1914, at the age of 63, just as the First World War was beginning. ... The scientific contributions to which both Mises and Schumpeter referred were Böhm-Bawerk’s writings on what has become known as the Austrian theory of capital and interest, and his equally insightful formulation of the Austrian theory of value and price."
    Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk: Capital, Interest, and Time, by Roger W. Garrison, 15 Great Austrian Economists, Jan 1999
    Biographical and bibliographical essay; chapter 8 of 15 Great Austrian Economists
    "Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk was in the right place at the right time to contribute importantly to the development of Austrian economics. Studying at the University of Vienna, he was twenty years old when Carl Menger's Principles of Economics appeared in print in 1871. His formal university training was in law (and thus he was not actually a student of Menger's), but after completing his doctorate in law in 1875, he began preparing himself both at home and abroad to teach economics in his native Austria. In the judgment of Schumpeter ..., Böhm-Bawerk 'was so completely the enthusiastic disciple of Menger that it is hardly necessary to look for other influences.'"
    Ludwig von Mises, socialism's greatest enemy: His life and times, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay on Mises, including details on Menger and Böhm-Bawerk
    "The person who most directly influenced Mises was the economist Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk. ... During the eight years he taught [at the University of Innsbruck], Bohm-Bawerk became the greatest champion of Menger's ideas, and he wrote his masterwork, Kapital und Kapitalzins [Capital and Interest] which was published in 1884."
    The Brilliance of Turgot, by Murray Rothbard, 1986
    Biography and review of Turgot's major writings; introduction to The Turgot Collection
    "One of the striking examples of injustice in the historiography of economic thought is the treatment accorded to Turgot's brilliant analysis of capital and interest by the great founder of Austrian capital-and-interest theory, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. ... Unfortunately, ... [he] brusquely dismissed the Frenchman as a mere physiocratic land-productivity theorist. This unfairness to Turgot is all the more heightened by recent information that Böhm-Bawerk, in his first evaluation of Turgot's theory of interest in a still-unpublished seminar paper in 1876, reveals the enormous influence of Turgot's views on his later developed thought."

    Writings

    The Austrian Economists, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1891
    Explains some of the major tenets of the Austrian school -just two decades after publication of its seminal treatise, contrasting them with the views of classical economics and the historical school; paper solicited by the editors of the magazine
    "The province of the Austrian economists is theory in the strict sense of the word. ... Their researches take their direction from the theory of value, the corner-stone being the well-known theory of final utility. This theory can be condensed into three unusually simple propositions. The value of goods is measured by the importance of the want whose satisfaction is dependent upon the possession of the goods."
    The Historical vs. the Deductive Method in Political Economy, by Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, Henrietta Leonard (translator), The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1890
    Contrasts the empirical and statistical approach of the German Historical school of economics with the abstract-deductive approach of the then nascent Austrian school
    "If now we review the grounds upon which stand the objections of the historical school to the 'abstract-deductive' method and I use this name because it is convenient as a name, not because I am entirely satisfied with it ... it is sought from the peculiarly complex nature of social phenomena to deduce that the method of investigation in question is not adequate ... I would point out the curious fact that though the historical school looks so contemptuously on deduction, yet to establish the proposition that abstract-deductive reasoning is not applicable to political economy, they make a brave use of abstract deductions."
    Related Topic: Prices

    Books Authored

    Capital and Interest, 1884
    3 volumes: History and Critique of Interest Theories, Positive Theory of Capital, and Further Essays on Capital Interest. Electronic text based on 1890 translation, available at The Library of Economics and Liberty.
    Related Topic: Capital Goods
    Karl Marx and the Close of His System, 1896
    Contents: The Theory of Value and Surplus Value - The Theory of the Average Rate of Profit and of the Price of Production - The Question of the Contradiction - The Error in the Marxian System — Its Origin and Ramifications - Werner Sombart's Apology
    Related Topic: Communism
    The Exploitation Theory of Socialism-Communism: The Idea That All Unearned Income (Rent, Interest and Profit) Involves Economic Injustice, 1975
    Extract from Volume I, Chapter XII, of Capital and Interest; partial contents: Historical Survey of Exploitation Theory - His General and Astounding Error - Marxian Doctrine as Interpreted by His Successors
    Related Topic: Communism
    Value and Price: An Extract from Capital and Interest, 1973
    Translation of Wert und Preis; partial contents: The Two Concepts of Value - Nature and Origin of Subjective Value - Insignificance of the Idea of Abstract Categorical Value
    Related Topic: Prices

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Eugen Böhm von Bawerk" as of 18 Jun 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.