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Man, Economy and Free Market: the Approach of M.N. Rothbard

Man, Economy and Free Market: the Approach of M.N. Rothbard

Journal of Economic Regulation, , Vol. 8 (no. 1),

The aims of the paper are to highlight the main contributions of Rothbard to the development of the economic science through analyzing his most significant works and to explain his unique influence on the intellectual tradition of the Austrian School of Economics. In the XXI century, the Austrian School is exerting a significant influence on the development of economics and its application to the realm of public policy. More economists respond positively towards fundamental Austrian ideas and the academic journals are more accepting of the works in this line of thought. In the past century only a few economists were aware of the Austrian’s school existence and many disagreed with its methods and conclusions. At the present, the Austrian school’s ideas are situated much closer to the economic mainstream, because the accepted paradigm grew to accept some of its ideas.
 
When mentioning the Austrian School in the Russian economic discussions, mostly the names of Friedrich Hayek or Ludwig von Mises or Israel Kirzner can be mentioned. However, many important scholars are still being left out. One of those scholars is Murray Newton Rothbard. In 2016, it is 90 years since his birth. Few economists are capable of creating such a great volume of work that can provide a heated discussion twenty years after the author’s death.
 
Rothbard, being the student of Mises, became a leading representative of the Austrian School in the United States. He built upon and significantly expanded the economic analysis of his mentor in his fundamental work “Man, Economy and State with Power and Market” (2004). Rothbard gained recognition among the Austrian paradigm due to his innovative developments in questions of methodology, utility, welfare, monopoly and money. He also successfully applied the Austrian theory to explain such important historical events as the Great Depression in his book «America’s Great Depression» (2000) or the genesis and development of the American banking business in his «Mystery of Banking» (2008).
 
A detailed study of Rothbard’s ideas opens up new paths of development and re-thinking of economics not only as a science, but its practical conclusions, representing a radically different point of view on the functioning of the free market.


Keywords: free market; Austrian School of economics; methodology; monopoly theory; utility; welfare; business cycles.

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