Capital, Interest, and Rent: Essays in the Theory of Distribution

Frank A. Fetter

Frank Fetter of Princeton University was one of the great American Austrians, and perhaps the most lucid defender of the “pure time preference” theory of interest in the history of economic ideas.

Rothbard learned from him, and then collected his best work into a single volume that works as a reader on the Austrian theory of capital and interest. If we are tempted to think of the Austrian perspective as a tiny minority within the profession, this volume shows that the situation has always been more complex. Fetter was not an Austrian from beginning to end, but on this topic, no one wrote with more conviction and explanatory power.

The English is beautiful, and logic is rigorous. With this reprint, Fetter again has a voice.


Capital Interest and Rent_Fetter
Meet the Author
Frank Fetter
Frank A. Fetter

Frank Albert Fetter was the leader in the United States of the early Austrian school of economics. Fetter is largely remembered for his views on business “monopoly” and for a unified and consistent theory of distribution that explained the relationship among capital, interest, and rent.

Born in rural Indiana, Fetter was graduated from the University of Indiana in 1891. After earning a master’s degree at Cornell University, Fetter pursued his studies abroad and received a doctorate in economics in 1894 from the University of Halle in Germany. Fetter then taught successively at Cornell, Indiana, and Stanford universities. He returned to Cornell as professor of political economy and finance (1901-1911) and terminated his academic career at Princeton University (1911-31), where he also served as chairman of the department of economics.

View Frank A. Fetter bio and works

Mission, Kansas: Sheed, Andrews, and McMeel, 1978. Edited with an introduction by Murray Rothbard. Print on Demand available.