Capital, Interest, and Rent: Essays in the Theory of Distribution

Fetter, Frank A.
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Murray N. Rothbard, ed.
First Pub. Date
Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc.
Pub. Date
Collected essays, 1897-1937. First published as a collection in 1977.
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Part 1, Essay 6
Review of Böhm-Bawerk, Positive Theorie des Capitals

Reprinted from Journal of Political Economy 11 (December 1902). The second edition of Böhm-Bawerk's Positive Theorie was published in Innsbruck by Verlag der Wagner'schen Universitäts-Buchhandlung in 1902. The English title of this work is Positive Theory of Capital, and it is volume 2 of Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Capital and Interest, trans. George H. Huncke and Hans F. Sennholz (South Holland, Ill.: Libertarian Press, 1959).


This second edition, long awaited with lively expectation by students of economic theory, proves to be an unchanged reprint of the first edition published some fourteen years ago. The author has found it impossible in the midst of his duties, recently undertaken as finance minister of Austria, to carry out his revision of this part as he had already done with the first part of Capital and Capitalzins. The author still adheres to his purpose of revising the Positive Theory, but is unable to do so until a more favorable time arrives. The student acquainted with recent magazine articles by the author, in which he has replied to his various critics, is aware, however, that no appreciable change has taken place in Böhm-Bawerk's views on the interest theory. His writings on the problem in the past fifteen years have been taken up, not with the revision and amendment of his interest theory, but merely with a restatement and defense of his well-known views against the critics who have assailed it from many directions. Each year is making the revision of the Positive Theory a more difficult task. The work of Böhm-Bawerk has been the most stimulating influence that has come into economic theory in the last half century, and yet his Positive Theory seems fated to go the way of its many predecessors. Its acceptance by students is each year becoming less and less possible.

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