The school of economic thought founded by Carl Menger

Web Pages

Are You an Austrian?
Ludwig von Mises Institute, also version in Spanish


A Fairy Tale of the Austrian Movement, by Joseph Salerno, Mises Daily, 25 Sep 2007
Review of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism, in particular of the section in chapter 7 where Peter Boettke discusses Austrian economics
"So Boettke's declaration that Austrians do not talk about 'public finance' is superficially true but erroneous ... when one considers the matter in more depth. ... no one with the slightest acquaintance with Austrian economics would deny that Austrian economists have written a great deal about the nature and consequences of government spending, deficits, and taxation. ... from the standpoint of Austrian economics, taxation and government resource-using activities are on all fours with other types of government intervention and are therefore dealt with in the theory of interventionism."
Book Review: Perfect Competition and the Transformation of Economics by Frank M. Machovec [PDF], by John B. Egger, Cato Journal, 1995
Review of the subject book, which argues that economics "embracing of perfect competition", over rivalrous competition, was a scientific revolution (as per Thomas Kuhn), but that led the profession down the wrong path
"Hutt and Machovec share the attributes of scholarship warmly received by the modern Austrian School, yet neither identifies himself as 'an Austrian economist,' each viewing his work as continuing and perhaps reestablishing the classical tradition. As Machovec puts it, 'Austrian economists see the market process much as the classical economists saw it' (p. 22). If they are right, Frederick Nymeyer (1960), the American publisher of Bohm-Bawerk, was correct to advertise the Austrian School as 'neoclassical,' and what we know today as 'neoclassical' should more accurately be considered neo-Ricardian, neo-Cournotian, or neo-Walrasian."
Related Topics: Entrepreneurship, Frank Knight
Book Review: J. B. Say, by Richard Ebeling, Future of Freedom, May 1998
Review of J.B. Say: An Economist in Troubled Times, writings selected and translated by R.R. Palmer, 1997
"As an economic theorist, Say's contributions included his emphasis on the role of 'utility' as the foundation for explaining the value that goods have in the market. In this, he was anticipating some of the arguments of the later Austrian school of economics. He was also suspicious of an excessive use of mathematics in economics along lines similar to the Austrian economists. Say was the first economist to carefully analyze the role of the 'entrepreneur' as the crucial decision-maker who directs the production activities of private enterprises in the service of satisfying consumer demand."
Faculty Spotlight Interview: Robert Higgs, by Robert Higgs, 2 Dec 2010
"Are there any words of wisdom you wish to pass onto the next generation of Austrian scholars? Study the writings of the great Austrians carefully, especially those of Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard, but do not confine your study to the Austrian school or to economics alone. The greatest Austrians were men of extremely wide knowledge and understanding."
Faculty Spotlight Interview: Thomas DiLorenzo, by Thomas DiLorenzo, 16 Aug 2010
"Any words of wisdom that you wish to pass on to the younger generation of Austrian scholars? ... I would encourage younger scholars to pay attention to the method of scholarship of Rothhbard, Mises, Hayek, and other Austrians, and to consider emulating it and improving on it. ... Armed with a solid understanding of Austrian economics and the classical liberal tradition in political philosophy, there is a broad research agenda waiting for young scholars ..."
Friedman, Milton (1912-2006), by Aaron Steelman, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"It also placed the Chicago School squarely in opposition to the Austrian School, whose proponents embraced many of the same promarket positions as Friedman, but who argued that economists must base their work on a set of assumptions that can be demonstrated to be logically correct. Moreover, the Austrians argued that much empirical work was of limited value because social scientists cannot model human behavior in the same way that physical scientists model their objects of study. One can say, for instance, that a price control will lead to a shortage, but the magnitude of that shortage will be difficult, if not impossible, to predict."
How I Became a Libertarian and an Austrian Economist, by Richard Ebeling, 2 May 2016
Autobiographical essay highlighting the people and events who influenced him in his path to libertarianism and Austrian economics
"... in the spring of 1974 I was invited to attend the first Austrian Economics conference in South Royalton, Vermont in June of that year. ... I also started attending graduate classes in 1976 at New York University as part of the Austrian Economics program organized by Israel Kirzner. ... The discussions ... encompassed everything from critiques of the frontiers of mainstream economics, to attempts at new and original contributions to Austrian theory, to interpretative investigations into the history of economic ideas and questions concerning the methodology and methods of economic science, and the economic policy issues of the day."
Jean-Baptiste Say: Neglected Champion of Laissez-Faire, by Larry J. Sechrest
Biographical and bibliographical essay, discussing Say's life, methodology and his writings on money, banking, the law of markets, entrepreneurship, capital, interest, value, utility, taxes and the state
"It is true that Say either overlooked or misunderstood certain points of theory dear to the hearts of Austrian economists. He does not believe that market exchanges represent utility gains for both buyer and seller; he does not see the relationship between interest rates and time preference ... On the other hand, ... he is very much in favor of commodity money and free banking; he knows that entrepreneurs and the accumulation of capital are essential to economic advancement; he correctly identifies both government regulation and taxation as threats to prosperity, indeed, even as threats to civil society itself."
Kirzner, Israel M. (1930-), by Brian Doherty, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"By the mid-1970s, ... with interest in Austrian theory growing—to a large degree thanks to seminars that Kirzner helped develop under the auspices of the Institute for Humane Studies—fellow Austrian School economist Ludwig Lachmann became attached to the department. Soon, with outside funding, an Austrian program developed at NYU and a series of weekly colloquia in Austrian economics held there has become a central gathering point for economists interested in the Austrian tradition. Under Kirzner’s leadership, many other Austrians have taught at NYU, although only one other besides Kirzner, Mario Rizzo, has gained tenure."
The Austrian Economists, by Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, 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 Nature and Significance of Economic Education: Economists Should Pursue Their Science with Objectivity, Detachment, and Passion, by Israel Kirzner, The Freeman, Oct 1998
Explains why economic education of both the general public and politicians/legislators is needed and why a teacher, such as Mises, must remain scientifically detached (value free) even if passionate about the teaching goals
"Austrian economics never gave up the central conclusions of the earlier shared consensus of neoclassical economics. In fact, both Mises and Hayek significantly deepened Austrian economic understanding ... They demonstrated ... how Austrian insights concerning the entrepreneurial role, the competitive process, and the knowledge-discovery process in fact respond effectively to both the macro and the micro concerns of the new interventionist orthodoxy in the economics profession."
The Origin of Economic Theory: A Portrait of Richard Cantillon (1680-1734), by Mark Thornton, 3 Aug 2007
Examines the sections of Cantillon's Essai relating them to episodes in the author's life, then delving into several Austrian economics insights that can be found in the work
"The second half of part one is where Cantillon becomes the first economist to develop the key Austrian insights concerning the entrepreneur and the role entrepreneurship plays in the economy. ... In part two of the Essai, Cantillon laid out his pathbreaking Austrian analysis of the monetary economy, exposing the great error of mercantilism (that money is wealth). ... Another hallmark of his Austrian analysis is his intention to limit himself to the positive economics of his subject, an attribute that Hayek considered especially remarkable for a writer of his time."
The Philosophical Origins of Austrian Economics, by David Gordon, Mises Daily, 17 Jun 2006
Surveys the views of the schools of philosophy and economics that influenced or competed with Austrian economics, including Hegel, the Historical School, Franz Brentano, Occam, Karl Marx, Aristotle, Kant, the logical positivists and Karl Popper
"The Austrian School of economics arose in opposition to the German Historical School; and Carl Menger developed his methodological views in combat with the rival group. ... Eugen Böhm-Bawerk ... was influenced by a quite different school of philosophy, the nominalists. ... Ludwig von Mises ... found himself the target of philosophical attack. The logical positivist movement subjected his deductive or praxeological approach to severe scrutiny."
Related Topic: Aristotle
The Story of a Movement, by Peter Boettke, The Freeman, May 1995
"Milton Friedman stated ... that there was no such thing as Austrian economics—only good economics and bad economics. Well, Friedman was right to an extent. But it turns out that Austrian economics ... provides the foundation for a humanistic, logically sound, and policy-relevant economics."
What Do Austrians Mean by "Rational"?, by Michael S. Rozeff, Mises Daily, 26 Jul 2006
"If human action always aims at a purpose ... then human action must be rational, that is, consistent with reason or guided by one's will and intellect. ... Praxeology tells us that human action is rational. The case being made for state action to remedy so-called irrationalities discovered by researchers in behavioral economics and finance has no logical justification."


Principles of Economics [PDF], by Carl Menger, 1871
Text available online at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, based on the 1976 New York University edition
The Driving Force of the Market: Essays in Austrian Economics
    by Israel Kirzner, 2000
The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics
    by Peter Boettke (Editor), 1998
What Every Investor Should Know About Austrian Economics and the Hard Money Movement
    by Mark Skousen, Foundation for Economic Education, 1988