Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Who We Are

Carl Menger

The bio below comes from a published article and may now be dated.

Carl Menger

Carl Menger (1840–1921) was an influential thinker and professor at the University of Vienna. His Principles of Economics of 1871 was a breakthrough in economic theory, notably for its marginalist approach and its subjectivism. His individual-centered conception of the economy was soon perceived as revolutionary and has ever since attracted generations of schol­ars to expand on this conception, with his immediate and closest associates being Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (1851–​1914) and Friedrich von Wieser (1851–1926). Following the publication of his Investigations into the Method of the Social Sciences with Special Reference to Economics in 1883, Menger engaged in what later would become known as the Methodenstreit, a controversy on the role of theory and history in economics, his principal opponent being the head of the Younger Historical School, Gustav Schmoller (1838–1917). In the decades after the Methodenstreit, Menger remained influential, both as teacher and as a public figure, but did not publish new treatises, either on theory or methodology. After the birth of his son Karl in 1902, Menger increasingly withdrew also from public life, and Wieser succeeded him at University of Vienna as the professor of economic theory. Menger’s library was later sold to Hitotsu­bashi University in Japan, while his archives are preserved at Duke University. Between 1933 and 1936, F. A. Hayek edited the four-volume Collected Works of Carl Menger. Menger is widely credited as having originated the Austrian school of economics.