Goods, Rights, and Austrian Capital Theory: An Evaluation of Böhm-Bawerk’s Rechte und Verhältnisse

This booklet was originally written as an article to be published in the Journal of Austrian Economics. The article, for reasons never divulged to the author, was not published. Perhaps this was because it explored a topic otherwise left untouched in the various strands of classical economics: the role of law in economics. What the article accomplishes is to lay the groundwork for a fresh understanding of economics on the basis of the realities of legal institutions. It does so by exploring Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk’s small treatise on the place  of “rights and relations” in economics.

Böhm-Bawerk originally conducted this study as a preliminary to his monumental Capital and Interest. He felt the need to get it out of the way, as it were. That dismissal shunted economics onto a path of futility.

In the same way that Böhm-Bawerk’s study serves as a preliminary to his exploration of capital theory, so does Goods, Rights, and Austrian Capital Theory lay the groundwork for an expanded economics, integrating property, interest, and money, resulting in “common-law economics.” It is intended to stimulate thought, as well as to acquaint readers with an unjustly neglected analysis conducted by one of the pillars of classical and Austrian economics.

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