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Carl Menger

Menger, Carl (kärl mĕngˈər) [key], 1840–1921, Austrian economist, a founder of the Austrian school of economics. He was professor of economics at the Univ. of Vienna from 1873 until 1903, when he retired to devote himself to research. Following an empirical approach rather than the historical method, he formulated a theory of marginal utility. The basic principle is that consumer goods have value of two orders, as they serve human needs directly or indirectly; thus he explained the economic phenomena of price and distribution in terms of social value. His theories are well known to the English-speaking world through the works of some of his associates, especially Friedrich von Wieser and Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. In response to a particularly negative review of Menger's Problems of Economics and Sociology (1883) by Gustav Schmoller, Menger published a critique of the historical school of economics. This exchange resulted in long-standing animosity between the two schools of economic thought. His chief work is Principles of Economics (1871; tr. 1950).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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