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Principles of Economics - Paperback

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In the beginning, there was Menger. It was this book that reformulated, and really rescued, economic science. It kicked off the Marginalist Revolution, which corrected theoretical errors of the old classical school.
Price: $10.00


This edition is absolutely gorgeous - handy, economical, and beautifully printed. We've never had an edition of this core work that is so nicely done.

In the beginning, there was Menger. It was this book that reformulated, and really rescued, economic science. It kicked off the Marginalist Revolution, which corrected theoretical errors of the old classical school. These errors concerned value theory, and they had sown enough confusion to make the dangerous ideology of Marxism seem more plausible than it really was.

Menger set out to elucidate the precise nature of economic value, and root economics firmly in the real-world actions of individual human beings.

For this reason, Carl Menger (1840-1921) was the founder of the Austrian School of economics. It is the book that Mises said turned him into a real economist. What's striking is how nearly a century and a half later, the book still retains its incredible power, both in its prose and its relentless logic.

The Mises Institute's new edition features a new foreword by Peter G. Klein, which summarizes Menger's contribution and places him in the history of ideas. He also explains his continued relevance.

Economics students still say that it is the best introduction to economic logic ever written. The book also deserves the status of a seminal contribution to science in general. Truly, no one can claim to be well read in economics without having mastered Menger's argument.

Menger advances his theory that the marginal utility of goods is the source of their value, not the labor inputs that went into making them. The implication is that the individual mind is the source of economic value, a point which started a revolution away from the flawed classical view of economics.

Menger also covers property, price, time, production, and wealth. On money, for example, it was Menger who so beautifully explained how it originates not in social contract or legislation but within the framework of the market economy.


Average Rating:
(based on 7 reviews)

Showing 1 - 5 of 7 Reviews:

by Davis
on 4/22/2014
from Jackson
Best Intro to Austrian Economics
Everyone always says that Economics in One Lesson is the best introduction to Austrian Economics. I completely disagree. Menger' Principles is MUCH better of an introduction. Economics in one Lesson is more of a Bastiatian Economics which is very important and indispensable to read. But if you want to understand value and prices and have a good primer to read before you tackle Man Economy and State and Human Action, this is by far the best book to read first.  
by Seth
on 1/20/2014
from US
Best Introduction to Economic Theory
After reading this, Economics in One Lesson does not compared. This is by far the better introduction to Austrian economic theory. Economics in One Lesson is more of critique of state interventionism than economics per se. Menger explains in stunning clarity goods theory, value, exchange, marginal utility(although he never uses the term), and money. Most translations I've read are painful to read. Principles, however, was easy to understand; Menger explains everything systematical; he constantly reiterates his points and provides examples. I would read this before jumping in the more philosophical works of Mises.  
by Christian
on 8/31/2011
from Ireland
I couldn't put this book down
The book is extremely well structured and the translation is extremely good. Each section and subsection seamlessly flow into the next. I agree with previous comments that this should be a mandatory book for anyone interested in economics.
by Tyrone Dell
on 9/26/2010
from NYC
An excellent continuation (and correction) of Smith's Wealth of Nations (the biggest correction being the abandonment of the labor theory of value that Smith held). 

The most mind blowing concepts for me to read were his explanations of the subjective theory of value, price formation, and the limits of exchange. 

Also, he asserts a strong connection between  commodities and money -- where his theory on money is essentially a special case inside of the theory of the commodity, since money /is/ a commodity.

Overall a very thorough introduction to the foundations of economics and, if read  from cover to cover, will help you "think like an economist".
by Robert
on 4/6/2010
from Piedmont, CA
Incomplete, But A Wonderful Start: Must Own
I wish someone would publish a nice, hardcover "Scholar's Edition" of this book.  I cannot describe how seminal this work is.  LvM basically said to just read it.  My experience: At first read, it was tough going.  As the translator describes, Menger's prose is long and laborious (or so it seemed at first), even for a German.  I found myself skimming what seemed to be repetitive.  Mid-book, I started to "get it."  Menger sees economic activity for what it is, at heart.  By the last third I was actively highlighting.  Despite my initial difficulty, I quickly re-skimmed it again to highlight, but found myself reading the whole thing again.  On the third read, I tried to read only the highlights.  You simply must expose yourself to Menger's way of thinking.  He makes economics clear, simple, and to the point, without the spurious inefficiency and wordiness or over mathematizing.  If you must visit the masters of the Austrian School in detail, this is arguably the best place to start.  
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Peter G. Klein

Introduction by F.A. Hayek

Translator's Preface

Author's Preface

I. The General Theory of the Good

  1. The Nature of Goods
  2. The Causal Connections Between Goods
  3. The Laws Governing Goods-character
  4. Time and Error
  5. The Causes of Progress in Human Welfare
  6. Property

II. Economy and Economic Goods

  1. Human Requirements
  2. The Available Quantities
  3. The Origin of Human Economy and Economic Goods
  4. Wealth

III. The Theory of Value

  1. The Nature and Origin of Value
  2. The Original Measure of Value
  3. The Laws Governing the Value of Goods of Higher Order

IV. The Theory of Exchange

  1. The Foundations of Economic Exchange
  2. The Limits of Economic Exchange

V. The Theory of Price

  1. Price Formation in an Isolated Exchange
  2. Price Formation Under Monopoly
  3. Price Formation and the Distribution of Goods under Bilateral Competition

VI. Use Value and Exchange Value

VII. The Theory of the Commodity

  1. The Concept of the Commodity in its Popular and Scientific Meanings
  2. The Marketability of Commodities

VIII. The Theory of Money

  1. The Nature and Origin of Money
  2. The Kinds of Money Appropriate to Particular Peoples and to Particular Historical Periods
  3. Money as a "Measure of Price" and as the Most Economic Form for Storing Exchangeable Wealth
  4. Coinage


  • Goods and "Relationships"
  • Wealth
  • The Nature of Value
  • The Measure of Value
  • The Concept of Capital
  • Equivalence in Exchange
  • Use Value and Exchange Value
  • The Commodity Concept
  • Designations for Money
  • History of Theories of the Origin of Money
ISBN 9781610162029
eISBN 9781610163606
Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute
Publication Date 09/01/2011
Edition Pocket
Binding PB
Page Length 328
Dimensions 6 x 9

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