the origins of the Austrian School of Economics


to possess value an object must be both useful and scarce. … The just price is found not by counting the cost but by the common estimation.

Leon Walras (1834-1910) … presented economics as “the calculus of pleasure and pain of the rational individual.” … expanded on the subjective theory of value

Menger asserted that such perfect knowledge never exists, and that therefore all economic activity implies risk. … price of the finished product bears no resemblance to the costs of production, since the two represent market conditions at very different points in time.

…Boehm-Bawerk … always a difference in value between present goods and future goods of equal quality, quantity, and form. Furthermore, the value of future goods diminishes as the length of time necessary for their completion increases. Boehm-Bawerk cited three reasons for this difference in value. First of all, in a growing economy, the supply of goods will always be larger in the future than it is in the present. Secondly, people have a tendency to underestimate their future needs due to carelessness and shortsightedness. Finally entrepreneurs would rather initiate production with goods presently available, instead of waiting for future goods and delaying production.

… Wieser also developed the notion of the paramount importance of accurate calculation to economic efficiency. Prices to him represented, above all, information about market conditions, and are thus necessary for any sort of economic activity. … economic change. More concerned with processes than actual outcomes

… Two other uniquely Austrian traits also deserve mention. First of all, the first generation of the Austrian school contained a spirit of compromise between pure laissez-faire and the traditional Austrian ideals of order and bureaucracy. … strong and stable social order based ultimately on the authority of the State.

A second aspect is the strongly psychological nature of the Austrian school. No other economic school of thought has placed such a premium on the effects of psychology–as far as it determines an individual’s perceptions of means and ends–on the economy as a whole.

.. The Austrian economists were, however, the first to clash directly with Marxism, since both dealt with such subjects as money, capital, business cycles, and economic processes.

… tremendous impact that Austrian ideas had in the free- market revivals of the 1980s in Britain and the U.S

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tremendous impact that Austrian ideas had in the free- market revivals of the 1980s in Britain and the U.S