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Man, Economy and State, Original Chapter 5: Producer's Activity

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Tags History of the Austrian School of EconomicsProduction Theory

03/22/2016Murray N. RothbardPatrick Newman

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 18, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 487–561

ABSTRACT: Editor's Foreword: This present work is an unpublished chapter of Murray N. Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State (hereafter MES) (2009 [1962]). Titled "Chapter 5: Producer's Activity," it was meant to be the fifth chapter of the book and the first on production theory. In it, Rothbard discussed the optimal production and investment decision of the producer, and used familiar analytical tools such as perfect competition, the isoquant-isocost framework, and the competitive versus monopoly price distinction. It was written when Rothbard still planned to write a textbook of Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action (1999 [1949]) before deciding to write a full blown treatise. Rothbard’s decision to do so was heavily influenced by his concurrent decision to abandon the chapter and rewrite his production theory, as he thought that the new material he would have to present and argue for would be unsuitable for an introductory textbook. In particular, the above mentioned analytical tools were all subject to trenchant criticism by Rothbard in his final production theory.

Cite This Article

Newman, Patrick, Murray N. Rothbard, "Man, Economy and State, Original Chapter 5: Producer's Activity," Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 18, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 487–561.

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