Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Robbins as Innovator: The Contribution of An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science
Volume 12, Number 4 (2009)
Robbins contributed the most definitive modern definition of the discipline, one which is now widely accepted. Although limited by his overly restrictive assumptions on information, his definition represented a great leap forward in the profession’s self-understanding. The major limitation of Robbins’s definition is the implicit assumption that ends, means, and their relationships are known in advance with final certainty. This leaves open no role for entrepreneurial experimentation and assumes knowledge which is only discoverable through entrepreneurial alertness and inquiry. The following three papers were presented at the Austrian Scholars Conference March 2007. They were part of a panel to reassess the influence on contemporary Austrian economics of Lionel Robbins’s An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of its publication.
Cite This Article
Mulligan, Robert F. "Robbins as Innovator: The Contribution of An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science." The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 12, No. 4 (2009): 81–88.