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Capital, Interest, and Professor Kirzner


  • Garrison Roger W.

    (Auburn University)


Israel Kirzner is to be credited for clarifying and developing the theory of capital and interest set out by Ludwig von Mises and for articulating and defending the pure time preference theory of interest. A revisiting of Mises and his critics suggests that the pure time preference theory is best formulated in terms of economic actions and then applied (variously) to the anticipated consequences of those actions. Differences between the Misesian and Knightian reckonings of time preference are to be understood in terms of the contrasting conceptions of a zero time preference. Parallels between the time preference theory of interest and a leisure preference theory of wages are explored. Austrian economics is deemed healthy despite lingering puzzles about its theories of interest and wages.On doit au Professeur Kirzner la clarification et le développement de la théorie du capital et de lintérêt dans la lignée de Ludwig von Mises et larticulation et la défense de la théorie de lintérêt comme étant la préférence pure pour le temps. Une relecture des travaux de Mises et de ses critiques suggère qu la théorie de la préférence pure pour le temps est mieux formulée en termes dactions économiques et ensuite appliquée (de manière variable) aux conséquences anticipées de ces mêmes actions. Les différences entre les acceptions Misessiennes et Knigtienne de la préférence pour le temps doivent être comprises en termes de conceptions différentes dune préférence nulle pour le temps. Les rapprochements entre la théorie de lintérêt comme préférence pour le temps et la théorie des salaires comme préférence pour les loisirs sont explorés. Léconomie autrichienne est jugée saine en dépit des énigmes persistantes qui entourent ses théories de lintérêt et des salaires.

Suggested Citation

  • Garrison Roger W., 2002. "Capital, Interest, and Professor Kirzner," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-16, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:2:n:10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lewin, Peter, 1997. "Rothbard and Mises on Interest: An Exercise in Theoretical Purity," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 141-159, March.
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