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Read Some Frank Fetter

January 18, 2014
The Spring Semester hasn't yet started for many, so to help students prepare,  Piet le Roux at The Mises Institute South Africa has some helpful suggestions:
 For those about to hit the road and keen on brushing up on economics,  Mises.org has a fine repository of audio works, including lectures, essays and even complete economic treatises. Download them from here to compliment the sights as you drive by those herds of springbok in the Karoo, the inviting waters of the South coast, etc. And for those who have exhausted the above library, consider visiting LibriVox.org, where you have access to gems like Frank Fetter’s 1904 work The Principles of Economics with Applications to Practical Problems (audio book). [Buy his newly-released ebook here.] Here’s Jeffrey Herbener on Frank Fetter: In the period between the founders of the Austrian school (Menger, Böhm-Bawerk, and Wieser) and its next generation (led by Mises and Hayek), Frank Albert Fetter was the standard bearer of the Austrian tradition. His 1904 treatise, Principles of Economics, constructed a general theory of economics in the Austrian tradition that went unsurpassed until Ludwig von Mises’s treatise of 1940, Nationaloekonomie. Yet Fetter, an American Austrian long before the interwar migration from Austria, has not received due recognition for his many contributions to the tradition. Using the axiomatic-deductive method, he traced economic laws to individual human action, and demonstrated that just as the price of each consumer good is determined solely by subjective value, the rate of interest is determined solely by time preference. The rental price of each producer good is imputed to it by entrepreneurial demand and is equal to its discounted marginal value product. The capital value of each durable good is equal to the discounted value of its future rents. Fetter showed how this uniform, subjective theory of value implies the demise of socialist theories of labor exploitation, Ricardian theories of rent, and productivity theories of interest.

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