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Essays on Capital and Interest

An Austrian Perspective Israel M. Kirzner, Formerly Professor of Economics, New York University, US
In Essays on Capital and Interest, Israel Kirzner offers a consistently ‘Austrian’ perspective on the problems of capital and interest theory.
Extent: 176 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 1996
ISBN: 978 1 85898 407 0
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In Essays on Capital and Interest, Israel Kirzner offers a consistently ‘Austrian’ perspective on the problems of capital and interest theory.

In the three classic essays featured in this book, Professor Kirzner argues that an Austrian approach based on the pure time preference theory offers an attractive alternative to both the orthodox neoclassical and the heterodox Sraffian approaches to economics. The author takes a subjectivist point of view with all capital and interest phenomena traced to individual multi-period plans. Capital is seen, in this perspective, not as an objective mass of tools and equipment, but as the interim state in which inter-locking multi-period plans have manifested themselves at a particular point. This consistent subjectivism makes it possible to present the pure time (Fetter-Mises) preference theory of interest in understandable terms.

Essays on Capital and Interest begins with an introduction by the author placing his life’s work in the context of twentieth century economics and the decline and revival of the Austrian school. This volume makes Professor Kirzner’s seminal work available to a wider audience in a major new edition. It will be welcomed by Austrian economists and all those concerned with capital and interest theory.
‘The significance of this volume is not diminished by the fact that all its separate parts, except for the 12-page introductory essay, have been published before. With greater accessibility and appearing now together, these Essays provide a virtual history – and pre-history – of the modern Austrian resurgence.’
– Roger W. Garrison, The Freeman

‘The book – which is excellently produced . . . . helps to do belated justice to Mises, who has been even more vilified than Hayek; it provides a remarkable contrast to the emptiness of much mainstream economics; and it demonstrates that very profound and general intellectual issues can be discussed using words.’
– D.P. O’Brien, University of Durham, UK
Contents: Introduction 2. An Essay on Capital 3. Ludwig von Mises and the Theory of Capital and Interest 4. The Pure Time-Preference Theory of Interest: An Attempt at Clarification References Index