Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Fall Denim Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums See All Deals Storm Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Shop Popular Services Home Theater Setup Plumbing Services Assembly Services Shop all furious7 furious7 furious7  Amazon Echo Fire HD 6 Kindle Voyage Assassin's Creed Syndicate Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Deal of the Day

Customer Reviews

17
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2005
Finally, there is a book to compare the agreements and disagreements of the Austrian and Chicago schools of economics. This will definitely be required reading for my university students in History of Economic Thought courses. I am especially thrilled to see such an evenhanded approach to so many issues, from causes of the Great Depression to types of monetary systems. Skousen is insightful, humorous, and always full of interesting tidbits that are available in no other source...because he knew so many of the players. His books are always user friendly and this is no exception. He also offers his views, but is ever respectful to all.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This is a heady book - you really have to be interested in economic history and policy to dissect the finer points between the Austrian and Chicago schools of free market economics. Mark Skousen, a free market economist with strong sympathies to both camps (perhaps Austrian in the end?) writes of the history and differences between the two.

The book sides with the Chicago school on it's focus on empirical data, where the Austrians prefer theoretical and logical arguements. The Chicago school suggests business cycles are purely a function of money, while the Austrian school gets solid marks for it's explanations of the temporal (capital overinvestment over time) natures of business cycles.

The book is balanced enough that one can learn and make the most out of both schools. It's rooted in both the history of the ideas, as well as how they've fared over time. It also covers how the ideas have changed over time. (Chicago was initially anti-concentration of industry, but changed over time, as the data suggested industry concentration rarely created true pricing power.) Take the book with a warning though - it's not an introductory textbook, and not aimed at the uninitiated. But for those interested in various approaches to free market economics (it's not a monolith) it's an outstanding resource.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2006
This is one of the best economics books I have read. It provides a good overview of the ongoing debate on some of the most relevant and still unresolved issues confronting economists today. But, unlike many economists, Skousen avoids verbosity and jargon; he presents quite complex issues simply and clearly. I also greatly enjoyed one of his other books, 'The making of modern economics'. Together, these books have challenged my views on many issues, including the causes of the great depression, the role of government in the economy, and the merits of a gold standard. The contribution of the Chicago and Austrian schools was badly neglected by my university lecturers, and I found 'Vienna & Chicago' a thoroughly fascinating read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2007
This book is a lovely addition to the history of economic thought, and aptly describes the modern 'methodenstreit' between the Austrian and Chicagoan schools. Skousen fails only in one regard: his understanding of Misesian apriorism is horrific. Granted, Mises was not clear enough and reintroduced arcane terms into his exposition on method (i.e. rationalism vs empiricism; see on this the source 3, provided below) that have largely obfuscated his contributions, and indeed some of his writings were incorrect. However, even an undergraduate in Economics myself with a modest understanding of praxeology can see massive holes in the author's understanding. Austrians emphasize the value and necessity of theory in interpreting data which has no voice of its own. Contra Skousen, they do not disregard history or empirical evidence. That is nonsense, and his writings on Mises show an utter misunderstanding (he does not even sufficiently disentangle Mises from Ricardo and other classical economists.) It is praxeological theorems (e.g. law of demand) that are necessary to approach statistical data, and formulate complete economic theorems, and are themselves logical truths. It is a common misunderstanding that Austrians completely disregard empirical data, and I was hopeful that Skousen would not repeat it - yet he does, and more ineptly than usual even. Economists serious about understanding the Austrian School comprehend this. It was Mises' position that neither mathematics nor statistics can yield praxeological truths. This does not mean that math and statistics can't be useful in understanding particular historical episodes (in fact the author realizes this -as did Friedman,- when he makes reference of faulty studies going counter to economic wisdom, which were later corrected by theoretically informed economists.) Nor does it mean dogmatic adherence to "broken" theories, which lack explanatory power (which are a signal either of faulty deduction or induction.) Rather than relegating Mises -whose theorems largely stand correct- to the status of crank, Skousen could've put more effort into understanding Mises. He is right to laud Austrians for engaging in more empirical studies, wrong in his understanding of what the Austrian method is. Empirical studies, statistical methods and graphs are wonderful tools in relaying information and insuring that our theories possess explanatory power, all of which Austrians have put to use without compromising their stance on praxeological theorems. He also misrepresents Mises' position on free will, which at most is compatibilist ([...])

For more on the matter:
[...]

Other than this and some minor errors, the book is great. The author skilfully recounts the birth of both schools, and provides a balanced assessment of their respective strengths and weaknesses, where he is equipped to do so (he is best on the business.) For a brief history of free market economics (and economics more generally), this book is excellent; for a philosophical treatise on method in Economics, it ought to be avoided. Readers will appreciate the author's exposition of certain basic concepts of economics in his work.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2007
The Austrian and the Chicago schools of economic thought have both made important contributions to our understanding of economics. Dr Skousen has, in an understandable and entertaining manner, presented these contributions to the general reading public.

I thought Dr Skousen was very game in suggesting that the Mises Institute had a siege mentality when it came to the defense of the Austrian school. I would also suggest that their partisan position is actually hindering further research and developments based upon the Austrian paradigm.When you regard your leader or school as been the final repository of truth and wisdom, where can you go from there? This may be one reason why most Austrian economists find it so hard to get good positions in top universities. They are regarded by their peers as being closed minded!

I also thought this book so good I gave it away to one of my graduate students who was leaning towards the church of Keynes. This book helped save him!

A great buy and a great read!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2008
In this book Mark Skousen compares and contrasts the ideas of the two most prominent schools of free market economics. That is, the Austrian School (Carl Menger, Eugene Bohm-Bawerk, Ludwig Von Mises, Friederich Hayek, etc.) and the Chicago School (Milton Friedman, George Stigler, etc.) This book is an invaluable resource to any fan of free market economics who seeks a more in depth understanding of the intellectual history behind this subject.

Mark Skousen, a prolific, pro-free-market economist and writer, is a highly qualified individual to take up this important task. He has authored over 20 books on this subject, has studied free market economics in depth and has had extensive contact with both Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.

From reading this book, you will not only get a nice overview of the history of free market economics including brief discussion of the important roles of precursors such as Adam Smith and Jean-Baptiste Say but you will also understand the finer points of both the Austrian view and the Chicago view. In particular, you will obtain a thorough understanding of the issues on which both schools passionately disagree, including their contrasting views on monetary policy, the cause and effect of business cycles and most importantly, what each school views as the proper methodology for obtaining economic truths.

The only shortcoming of this book that I noticed is very minor but will be of importance to a few readers. For an individual as well versed in free market thought as Mark Skousen, he often displays a clumsy understanding of the philosophy of Ayn Rand. For example, in this book, Skousen parenthetically comments how Ayn Rand would describe Immanuel Kant's concept of reason as "objective" reason. However, those who have studied the ideas of Ayn Rand knows that she has vociferously rejected the analytic-synthetic dichotomy of Immanuel Kant, which amounts to saying that reason is utterly useless in discovering truths in what Kant calls the noumenal world (that is, an unknowable world that exists independent of our consciousness). However, this should not detract from this fantastic book he has written.

I recommend this to anyone with a strong interest in laissez-faire economics and who wants to understand the finer but important contrasts between the ideas of the Austrian School and the Chicago School. If you are interested in the history of economic thought, I also recommend Mark Skousen's "The Big Three in Economics".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2005
There is a frustrating, and ridiculous, amount and quality of typos in this book that renders it almost unacceptable. If you can get over that, this is an excellent survey of the similarities and differences between the Austrian School of Economics (Hayek, Rothbard, Mises) and the Chicago School Of Economics (Milton Friedman). Even for the neophyte who has an interest in liberty or economics (one invariably will lead to the other), this is an excellent place to start, with chapter-by-chapter biblographies to lead you to the next steps. Now, if only Skousen could find a decent publisher.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2005
This book by Mark Skousen is a very well written and readable description and comparison of the Vienna (Austrian) and Chicago schools of economics. Mr. Skousen succeeds in writing an objective guide the history, theory, and differences of the two schools of economics. He also brings to light many similarities. The book is a real education in economics.

And the book is so readable that I wish he had also discussed Keynesian economics into which I was educated as an economics student.

The book is an invaluable exposition.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2011
Any student of economics should read this fascinating book. Skousen covers a neglected school of thought known as Austrian economics--a discipline rarely discussed on TV or in the classroom. (I never heard a word about in any of the economics classes I took in college). taking economics classes. Skousen discusses the philosophical disagreements between the Chicago and Austrian schools objectively, with no obvious bias either way.

If you think all free market-leaning economists have the same views, you'll change your mind after reading the book. The two schools widely differ on a number of issues--the cause of the Great Depression, the wisdom of antitrust laws, how to revive the economy during a recession, and many others. Vienna & Chicago is one of the best economic books of the last few years.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
VINE VOICEon March 2, 2012
I've struggled to get a clear explanation of the differences between monetarists and austrian economists. No more!!.. This book is a wonderful and highly useful book that really dives into the differences between the two schools of thought. Skousen does a wonderful job of pointing out the similarities and differences and chimes in about his own beliefs. He has a great resume and knows his economics. This book is a tough one to put down even though it is packed with deep knowledge and context. I've read many economic books and this one is seriously one of the better ones. In summary, it's well worth your time to read this high quality, informative analysis of two very important schools of economic thought.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed

Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition
Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition by Rose Friedman (Paperback - November 15, 2002)
$13.17

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.