One of the areas of economics to which Murray Rothbard contributed significantly is known as welfare economics. As we explain in this episode, it deals with how we can determine whether utility (individual or “social,” properly understood) has been increased. Rothbard’s analysis led him to the conclusion that it was impossible for state action to increase social utility.
Free-market economist Bryan Caplan, in his famous article on why he isn’t an Austrian, argues that Rothbard’s solution is riddled with problems. Jeff Herbener joins me for a robust defense of Rothbard.
About the Guest
Jeffrey M. Herbener is chairman of the department of economics at Grove City College and associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.
“Why I Am Not an Austrian Economist,” by Bryan Caplan
“Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics,” by Murray N. Rothbard (PDF)
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