Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 15 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Twentieth-century Austrian economists became known as champions of the free-market system yet claimed value-freedom in their economic analysis. However, advocacy of free markets is viewed as inherently ideological, involving ethical assumptions within the economic analysis. In this chapter, we discuss the connection between economics and ethics in the Austrian school of economics. We explore what value-freedom in the Austrian school entails and how twentieth-century Austrian economists were able to hold dual positions as value-free economists and advocates of free markets. We argue that Austrian economists separate ethical assumptions from their economic analysis. They maintain strict adherence to value-free analysis through an emphasis on social cooperation, which allows them to maintain their objectivity with respect to individuals’ ends. This combination allows Austrian economists to maintain their positions as value-free scientists while arguing that a free-market, capitalist system will best achieve peoples’ diverse ends.

Keywords: Austrian economics, social cooperation, economics and ethics, value-freedom, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, Lionel Robbins, Henry Hazlitt, Philip Wicksteed, Max Weber

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.