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MARGINALISM AND SCOPE IN THE EARLY METHODENSTREIT

MARGINALISM AND SCOPE IN THE EARLY METHODENSTREIT The early Methodenstreit (1871–1883) between Gustav Schmoller and Carl Menger is one of the defining moments in the development of today’s discipline of economics. However, recent interpretations of the debate no longer identify a substantial point of controversy. I reconstruct the debate to show that the pivotal topic was the scope of economics. Menger claims that his marginalist Principles of Economics more or less captures the entire subject matter of the discipline, which Schmoller denies. I also discuss recent scholarship, which follows Friedrich Hayek to situate Menger at the edges or even outside the marginalist mainstream. I show that support for this reading is weak and in parts based on a misrepresentation of the available sources, putting into question Menger’s status as a forbear of today’s Austrian school. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Economic Thought Cambridge University Press

MARGINALISM AND SCOPE IN THE EARLY METHODENSTREIT

MARGINALISM AND SCOPE IN THE EARLY METHODENSTREIT

Journal of the History of Economic Thought , Volume 44 (1): 20 – Mar 1, 2022

Abstract

The early Methodenstreit (1871–1883) between Gustav Schmoller and Carl Menger is one of the defining moments in the development of today’s discipline of economics. However, recent interpretations of the debate no longer identify a substantial point of controversy. I reconstruct the debate to show that the pivotal topic was the scope of economics. Menger claims that his marginalist Principles of Economics more or less captures the entire subject matter of the discipline, which Schmoller denies. I also discuss recent scholarship, which follows Friedrich Hayek to situate Menger at the edges or even outside the marginalist mainstream. I show that support for this reading is weak and in parts based on a misrepresentation of the available sources, putting into question Menger’s status as a forbear of today’s Austrian school.

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the History of Economics Society
ISSN
1053-8372
eISSN
1469-9656
DOI
10.1017/S1053837220000413
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The early Methodenstreit (1871–1883) between Gustav Schmoller and Carl Menger is one of the defining moments in the development of today’s discipline of economics. However, recent interpretations of the debate no longer identify a substantial point of controversy. I reconstruct the debate to show that the pivotal topic was the scope of economics. Menger claims that his marginalist Principles of Economics more or less captures the entire subject matter of the discipline, which Schmoller denies. I also discuss recent scholarship, which follows Friedrich Hayek to situate Menger at the edges or even outside the marginalist mainstream. I show that support for this reading is weak and in parts based on a misrepresentation of the available sources, putting into question Menger’s status as a forbear of today’s Austrian school.

Journal

Journal of the History of Economic ThoughtCambridge University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2022

References