Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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Transitivity and the Money Pump

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Tags SubjectivismValue and Exchange

07/30/2014Walter BlockWilliam Barnett II

Volume 15, No. 2 (Summer 2012)

Transitivity in economics maintains that if a is preferred to b, and b to c, then a must also be preferred to c. The problem with this is that these three decisions are made at different points of time, and tastes may have changed in the interim. The difficulty with a rejection of transitivity (which underlies indifference curve analysis) is a reductio ad absurdum, based upon the “money pump.” The present paper rejects this attempt at a reductio.


Contact Walter Block

Walter Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at Loyola University, senior fellow of the Mises Institute, and regular columnist for LewRockwell.com.

Click here to see an extensive online compendium of Dr. Block's publications.

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Contact William Barnett II

Bill Barnett is professor of economics at Loyola University in New Orleans.

Cite This Article

Block, Walter E., and William Barnett II. "Transitivity and the Money Pump." The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 15, No. 2 (Summer 2012): 237–251.