Pure Theory and Progressive Liberalism: Frank Fetter and the Austrian Economists

Journal of Institutional Economics, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2018 Last revised: 21 Sep 2018

See all articles by Matthew McCaffrey

Matthew McCaffrey

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Frank A. Fetter is often classified as an American representative of the Austrian school, yet surprisingly, there is practically no published record of his views of the Austrians or theirs of him, and there is no indication that he ever seriously interacted with them after the First World War. However, Fetter enjoyed many personal and professional relationships with the Austrians, and they shared a reciprocal influence on each other’s ideas that deeply influenced their respective research programs. This paper draws on unpublished archival records to explore Fetter’s unique place in the history of economics, in particular, his positive and negative interactions with the leading individuals and institutions of the Austrian school. Their half-century of influence sheds light on Fetter and his role in American economics, but also brings to light a wide range of information about the lives, works, and personal relations of the Austrians that have not been included in their biographies or institutional histories.

Keywords: Frank A. Fetter, Austrian Economics, Historical and Institutional Economics, Classical Liberalism, Progressive Liberalism

JEL Classification: B13, B15, B25

Suggested Citation

McCaffrey, Matthew, Pure Theory and Progressive Liberalism: Frank Fetter and the Austrian Economists (2018). Journal of Institutional Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3239885

Matthew McCaffrey (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

United Kingdom

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