About the Course
The heart of Austrian economics is its theory of value, exchange, production, and market intervention, what is typically called “price theory” or “microeconomics.”
Austrian microeconomics was introduced by Carl Menger and developed and extended by his Austrian, British, and American followers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Unlike his contemporaries Walras and Jevons, Menger focused not only on the principle of marginal analysis, but also on the subjective, human aspects of valuation and the scientific principle of cause and effect. As such, Austrian price theory is substantially different from the microeconomics of contemporary, neoclassical textbooks.
This course provides a systematic overview of Austrian microeconomics, starting with the basic of scarcity, choice, and value; then moving to exchange and demand; the determination of prices; factor markets and factor pricing (including labor); profit, loss, and the entrepreneur; the structure of production; and competition and monopoly. Though the emphasis is theoretical, the course utilizes several case studies in order to examine principles that apply broadly to everyday, ordinary economic problems.
The main text is Milton M. Shapiro, Foundations of the Market-Price System (University Press of America, 1985), supplemented by sections from Thomas C. Taylor, An Introduction to Austrian Economics (Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1980) and Percy L. Greaves, Jr., Understanding the Dollar Crisis (Western Islands Publishers, 1973).
All other readings for this course are free, available online, and provided to students in a fully-hyperlinked syllabus.
Independent study courses are courses that were presented live in the past. These courses are now offered at a discount to anyone who wants to study independently. All courses include lecture recordings, slides, a complete hyper-linked syllabus, automatically-graded quizzes, and a discussion forum. Professors are not available for academic support for these independent study courses.