Friedrich von Wieser
Friedrich Freiherr von Wieser (10 July 1851 – 22 July 1926) was an early (so-called "first generation") economist of the Austrian School of economics. Born in Vienna, the son of Privy Councillor Leopold von Wieser, a high official in the war ministry, he first trained in sociology and law. In 1872, the year he took his degree, he encountered Austrian-school founder Carl Menger's Grundsätze and switched his interest to economic theory. Wieser held posts at the universities of Vienna and Prague until succeeding Menger in Vienna in 1903, where, with brother-in-law Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, he shaped the next generation of Austrian economists including Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter in the late 1890s and early 20th century. He was the Austrian Minister of Commerce from August 30, 1917 to November 11, 1918.
Quotes about Wieser
- Wieser is usually credited with the idea that the cost of any economic decision is the next best alternative foregone in making that decision. In addition, Wieser – following Menger – saw the production process as unfolding through time where value flows up from lower-order goods to the higher-order goods used in producing them, and a stream of goods and services flows down from high-order goods to the lower-order goods we consume. The process of deriving the value of producer goods from the value of the resulting consumer goods is referred to as imputation. Hayek’s early work in technical economics was precisely on this issue and it is through studying this process of imputation that he became sensitised to the misleading influence of equilibrium theorising with regard to the complexity of this economic adjustment process through time.
- Peter Boettke, "Hayek and Market Socialism: Science, Ideology and Public Policy", Economic Affairs (2005)