An Austrian Dilemma: Necessity and Impossibility of a Theory of Institutions

An Austrian Dilemma: Necessity and Impossibility of a Theory of Institutions Review of Austrian Economics, 11: 31–45 (1999) ° c 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers An Austrian Dilemma: Necessity and Impossibility of a Theory of Institutions SANDYE GLORIA-PALERMO o doubt institutions represent a central theme of investigation for the Austrian tradition. Since Menger’s analysis of the emergence of money, Austrians have been devoting a lot of attention to the nature and function of institutional phe- nomena. Such interest cannot be considered as the expression of mere scientific curiosity but rather, it will be argued, as an analytical necessity. However, it is difficult to identify a typical ‘Austrian theory of institutions’. There is hardly any unity between the various developments, be it on the conceptual level, the methodological level or even on the normative level. Given this acknowledgment of the Austrian inadequacy to provide with a complete and unified analysis of institutions, the question faced in this paper is the following: is it possible to organize the various and quite eclectic elements in a coherent whole and to elaborate in this way a genuine Austrian theory of institutions? In other words, which elements should we keep in the framework and which should we get rid of in order to build a complete The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

An Austrian Dilemma: Necessity and Impossibility of a Theory of Institutions

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
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