Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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The Great Depression: Mises vs. Fisher

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Tags Booms and BustsU.S. EconomyBusiness Cycles

07/30/2014Mark Thornton

Volume 11, No. 3 (2008)


Ludwig von Mises established the foundations of modem Austrian economics while Irving Fisher established the foundations of modem mainstream macroeconomics and central bank policy. Fisher helped create and was a proponent of mathematical economics, statistics and index numbers, and a monetary policy that "stabilized" the value of the dollar. Fisher claimed that his scientific approach established a New era of prosperity during the 1920sMises published a book in 1928 that critiqued Fisher's approach and predicted that it would lead to an economic crisis and collapse. Before the stock market crash in 1929 Fisher proclaimed a perpetual prosperity for the economy and continued to recommend investing in stocks long after the market had collapsed. In this important case study, Mises passed the "market test" while Fisher lost his personal fortune during an economic crisis that his economics help create.


Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is the Peterson-Luddy Chair in Austrian Economics and a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute. He is the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

Cite This Article

Thornton, Mark. "The Great Depression: Mises vs. Fisher." The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 11, No. 3 (2008): 230-241.