Austrian Economics Newsletter

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Subjective Value Theory: A Reformulation

Austrian Economics Newsletter

Tags SubjectivismValue and Exchange

07/20/2005Alexander Tabarrok

Volume 12, Number 1 (Fall 1990)


The method of Austrian economics stresses the use of words and concepts rather than mathematics, but, unlike mathematics, words and concepts change their meaning through time. That f '(x) < 0 implies a negatively sloping curve was as clear. to Newton as it is to a modern mathematical economist. The meaning Carl Menger ascribed to the term utility, however, differed from that of Mises. Furthermore, the meaning of words in one context can infuse and distort the meaning in another context. This is why, as Austrian economists, we must occasionally "clean house," re-examine our concepts, and clarify any that have become distorted.


Alexander Tabarrok

Alexander Tabarrok is a Canadian-American economist and co-author of the economics blog, Marginal Revolution. He is a professor at George Mason University and a fellow at the school's Mercatus Center. In addition, Tabarrok is director of research for the Oakland, California based  think tank the Independent Institute.


 Austrian Economics Newsletter, Fall 1990, volume 12, Number 1