The Austrian School on the Rise


Libertarian Forum, October 1974 by Richard Ebeling.

During the week of June 15–22, 1974, the quaint and rustic Vermont village of South Royalton came alive in a way that it probably hasn’t since the Revolutionary War. Under the auspices of the Institute for Humane Studies, 50 professors and students from the United States, Australia, and England gathered for a conference on Austrian economics.

Slightly over 100 years ago, the Austrian School of Economics was founded by Carl Menger. One of the pathfinders to break asunder the myth of the labor theory of value, which had dominated economics from the time of Adam Smith, Menger developed the subjective theory of value. The value of a good, Menger explained, was not determined by the input of labor into the product, but rather the labor was given value by the intensity felt for the product by the individual who would finally consume it. And since individuals valued things differently and by different scales, there was no way to objectively determine value other than relating it back to the individual valuer.


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