Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Value, Cost, and Marginal Utility

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics


Volume. 5, No. 1 (Summer 2002)


The times are past in which one could naively teach the cost theory without getting involved in more precise explanations concerning in particular the origin of the value of the cost goods itself and the laws determining its magnitude. Whoever begins, however, really to explain, instead of merely assert, will find all of the logical and factual rocks in his way on which Dietzel’s explanation has run aground. And may he employ the art of navigation and steering as such as he likes, he will find the way out from the labyrinth of rocks under no other sign than we marginal-value theorists have sought and found it. The simple truth remains, indeed, that it is ultimately a locomotive which pulls the last car and not a last car that pulls the locomotive!


Böhem-Bawerk, Eugen von. “Value, Cost, and Marginal Utility.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 5, No. 3 (Fall 2002): 37–79.

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