Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bohm-Bawerk at Harvard

In past graduate course exams that is. Following are two questions from the final exam for Harvard's graduate level Economic Theory course from 1912 posted at the fascinating blog Economics in the Rear-View Mirror currated by Irwin Collier.

  1. What three grounds explain, according to Böhm-Bawerk, the preference for present goods over future? Which of them does he conclude to be the most important? State Fisher’s criticism; and give your own opinion on the controverted question.

  1. “In the present condition of industry, most sales are made by men who are producers and merchants by profession. . . .For them, the subjective use value of their own wares is, for the most part, very nearly nil. … In sales by them the limiting effect which, according to our theoretical formula, would be exerted by the valuation of the last seller, practically does not come into play.” — Böhm-Bawerk.
    What is the ” theoretical formula “? and what is the importance of the qualification here stated?
They are important reminders that in his day Bohm-Bawerk was recognized as in important and distinct economic theorist. In fact, there is much at Economics in the Rear-View Mirror that reveals Austrian economics had a significant place at the economics table before World-War II.