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An Introduction to Austrian Economics Paperback – 2008
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p>For the serious student, this exposition of the essentials of Austrian economics is excellent. Taylor discusses all the fundamental aspects of Austrian thought, from subjectivism and marginal utility to inflation and the business cycle. This new and revised edition is widely influential among economics students.
For the newcomer, this work represents a concise introduction to both the historical setting of the Austrian School and to the ideas espoused by its members.
This volume includes chapters on:Social Cooperation and Resource Allocation Economic Calculation The Subjective Theory of Value The Market and Market Prices Production in an Evenly Rotating Economy From an Evenly Rotating Economy to the Real World Inflation and the Business Trade Cycle96 pp. (pb)
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is in no way easily understandable, and contains mostly introductions to the philosophical and methodological side (Praxeology) of the Austrian school. Not so much on the real economics side of the school.
However the book introduces a good introduction to some of the great Austrians and their thoughts.
If the reader is looking for a better introduction to Austrian Economics I would recommend:
"Lessons for the young economist" or "How an economy grows and why it crashes"
I am not able to breeze through this as fast as I thought and maybe that was the point. The author's style of writing almost requires the reader to slow down and carefully study each sentence. It's not that he's a bad writer by any stretch. There is so much important information in each sentence that you can't just sit back peruse its pages.
This is a good read for anyone wanting to start their entrance into the arguments of Austrian economics.
Now, as for understanding this book, the author Thomas C. Taylor is a professor of the School of Business and Accountancy at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC & writes mainly "scholarly texts" and articles. He is the leading authority on accounting theory in Austrian economics and as such a member of the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.
This is the Table of Contents:
Introduction, pp. 7-11
Social Cooperation and Resource Allocation, pp. 12-21
Economic Calculation, pp. 22-39
The Subjective Theory of Value, pp. 40-51
The Market and Market Prices, pp. 52-62
Production in an Evenly Rotating Economy, pp. 63-73
From an Evenly Rotating Economy to the Real World, pp. 74-89
Inflation and the Business Trade Cycle, pp. 90-95
About the Author
The book itself is geared as Dr Taylor says right in the Introduction and I quote adding the stars & also breaking it apart for emphasis since AMZN does not allow HTML formatting:
"It is hoped that this book can serve as an effective introduction to the Austrian theory. (One can hardly avoid feeling some reluctance in using the term "Austrian economics" for fear of suggesting that it is perhaps something different from straightforward, sound economics.) The disarray of Keynesian economics, the bewildering artificiality of econometrics, the sad record of predictions by "professional" economists, unrealistic textbook models such as perfect competition and pure monopoly, persistent inflation and unemployment, and widespread politizations of economic interests have created a warranted distrust of all economic theory. Yet the Austrian analysis cannot be overlooked if a greater understanding of the market process and the effects of interferences with its operation is to be achieved. *****The book should prove useful as a supplement in a course in economic theory or a course in the history of economic thought at either the undergraduate or graduate level.***** "
And frankly I would agree with that assessment. As for being boring at times and very academic, all of that is true of this and most philosophical works, so I am not going to argue that point, but I am going to say if you have the appetite for an elucidation of the principles of Austrian economics, than this would definitely fill that bill & like dim-sum, succinctly at that./TKL
This book will definitely introduce readers to the basics of the Austrian school of economics. It does a good job of introducing the conceptual framework and the theoretical aspects of the school, and the author's explanations are generally clear.
This book primarily aims for concision, so obviously quite a bit of detail is left out. I suppose this is probably criticizing a horse for not flying, but sometimes I thought the chapters were a bit too concise, and I would've liked to seen some ideas and concepts explored more fully. For example, the Austrian theory of inflation and the business cycle only gets about 5 pages in my edition, which I found disappointing because the Austrian school has a very powerful and elegant explanation of the phenomenon (in fact, that's one of the things that attracted me to the Austrian School in the first place). I was also a little disappointed that the authors spent so little time on application.
As a warning, this book is not exactly light reading. As a consequence of being so short and having to cover so much in such a short time, this book contains very little "filler" and is extremely dense reading. I'm not going to lie, at times it's just downright boring.
In conclusion, I recommend this book, but not necessarily as a first introduction to Austrian economics (which is a little ironic, since this book is supposed to be an introduction), since its dryness may turn off some readers without much of a background in economics. For those without prior background in economics, I'd recommend reading a more popular-level book first, such as Ron Paul's "Mises and Austrian Economics: A Personal View".