I’ve copied these 10 points from Steve Horwitz’s valuable post on this subject. They succinctly define the tenets of Austrian economics.
- Only individuals choose.
- The study of the market order is fundamentally about exchange behavior and the institutions within which exchanges take place.
- The “facts” of the social sciences are what people believe and think.
- Utility and costs are subjective.
- The price system economizes on the information that people need to process in making their decisions.
- Private property in the means of production is a necessary condition for rational economic calculation.
- The competitive market is a process of entrepreneurial discovery.
- Money is non-neutral.
- The capital structure consists of heterogeneous goods that have multi-specific uses that must be aligned.
- Social institutions often are the result of human action, but not of human design.
On their own, these points might seem somewhat vague and obvious. But they’re worded carefully here—it’s what’s implied when we take them as fact that gets interesting.
For more on Austrian economics, read this.