Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

In the shadow of giants: a profile of the Austro-American economist Karl Pribram

Chaloupek Günther , independent scholar

Economics in Austria is often identified with the Austrian School of economics, for its major contributions to the corpus of economic theory of the 19th and 20th century. However, there are other currents of economic thinking in Austria which made important contributions, e.g. the Historical School, and the so-called “alternative Austrian School”. In between schools stands the work of Karl Pribram (1877-1973), who is known today as author of A History of Economic Reasoning (1983). But Pribram made important contributions to other areas, such as social philosophy, economic and social policy, and economic history. If, for this variety of subjects, his work appears heterogeneous, his research program nonetheless follows the lines of his lifelong interest in what he considered central aspects of social philosophy in its development: “conflicting patterns of thought” in economic and social thinking. The paper aims at a survey of Pribram’s work and an evaluation of his achievements.


Keywords: Karl Pribram, history of economic theory, social philosophy, economic methodology

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