Fritz Machlup and Behavioralism

Posted: 20 Feb 2001

See all articles by Roger Koppl

Roger Koppl

Whitman School of Management


This paper is concerned with Fritz Machlup's defense of neoclassical economics against organizational economics and the behavioral theory of the firm. Machlup's objections to organizational economics were narrowly semantic. Properly understood, however, Machlup's methodology has much to offer organizational theory. His position has been mistaken for a form of positivism and as equivalent to Milton Friedman's methodology. In fact, Machlup was a leading methodological subjectivist. Surprisingly, Machlup's version of neoclassical theory is complementary to organizational economics, including behavioralism.

Suggested Citation

Koppl, Roger, Fritz Machlup and Behavioralism. Available at SSRN:

Roger Koppl (Contact Author)

Whitman School of Management ( email )

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