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Bastiat's "The Broken Window": A Critique

The Journal of Libertarian Studies

Tags Calculation and KnowledgePhilosophy and MethodologySubjectivism

07/30/2014Louis E. Carabini

“The Broken Window,” An essay written by Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), was the first of a dozen short essays compiled under the heading, What is Seen and What is Not Seen (1964). In these essays, Bastiat cautions us by saying that to accurately evaluate the full outcome of an event, we must account for all effects of that event, namely, the obvious (that which is seen), and also the not so obvious (that which is not seen). “The Broken Window” is the most famous of these instructive essays and is often cited by libertarians as a precise lesson in critical economic analysis.

Volume 21, Number 4 (2007)


Contact Louis E. Carabini

Louis Carabini received a B.A. in Pre-Medical Studies at UCLA in 1952, founded Monex Precious Metals, a precious metals trading company, in 1967, and currently resides in southern California.

Cite This Article

Carabini, Louis. "Bastiat's "The Broken Window": A Critique." Journal of Libertarian Studies 21, No. 4 (2007): 151–155.