The Place of Menger’s Grundsätze in the History of Economic Thought

“The Place of Menger's Grundsätze in the History of Economic Thought.” In J. R. Hicks and W. Weber (eds.), Carl Menger and the Austrian School of Economics. Oxford, 1973, pp. 1–14


“When the Grundsatze  appeared in 1871, it was only 95 years since the Wealth of Nations, only 54 since Ricardo’s Principles, and a mere 23 it since the great restatements of classical economics by John Stuart Mill. It is well to begin by recalling these intervals, lest we should look for a mark on contemporary economics (100 years later) which should be greater than it in fact appears to be. There has of course occurred, in the latter part of this 100 years, another revolution—which has shifted interest to aspects of economic analysis that were little cultivated in the earlier part of the century, the time when the impact of Menger’s work was chiefly felt. Yet in a longer perspective the ‘microeconomic’ phase, which owed much of its character to Menger, had considerable  duration. It lasted for more than a quarter of the nearly two centuries that have elapsed since Adam Smith.”

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