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Menger, Carl (1840–1921)

Carl Menger, brother of the lawyer Anton Menger (1841–1906), through his teaching and writing at the University of Vienna in the late nineteenth century, inspired the formation of a distinctive, Austrian approach to economics. Where neoclassical economics had been centrally concerned with equilibrium states and conditions, Menger's Austrian approach treated economies as processes of continual experimentation and motion. Equilibrium might sometimes be a useful mental tool, but it was not a feature of reality.

Menger treated competition as an active process that generates a continual flow of new knowledge, new products, and new forms of economic organization. The primary task of economic theorizing for Menger was to explain how generally orderly patterns of economic activity emerge through interaction among people even though there is no person ...

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