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Labor Economics from an Austrian Perspective

57 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2012 Last revised: 18 Oct 2017

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

William J. Luther

Kenyon College

Date Written: August 16, 2012


The compelling case offered by Austrians regarding the recent economic downturn has no doubt encouraged many to take a closer look at the broader Austrian perspective. Similarly, the jobless recovery has prompted some soul searching in labor economics. We briefly review the history and methodology of the Austrian school and describe major contributions to labor economics from those working in the Austrian tradition. Then, we offer a sketch of the Austrian theory of labor markets and discuss its implications. In doing so, we hope to have helped the interested reader along both lines.

Keywords: Austrian, Austrian business cycle theory, Böhm-Bawerk, entrepreneurship, Hayek, labor, labor theory of value, marginalism, Mises, search, uncertainty, unemployment

JEL Classification: B53, E00, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6, J00, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J8

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Luther, William J., Labor Economics from an Austrian Perspective (August 16, 2012). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-41. Available at SSRN: or

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

William J. Luther (Contact Author)

Kenyon College ( email )

Gambier, OH 43022
United States


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