by Murray N. Rothbard

This online edition is Copyright © 2004 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, second edition, Scholar's Edition. Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama 36832. The entire text is available in both PDF and text version. In addition other study tools will be added as they become available.  Own the book. See the  Reviews.

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Introduction to the Scholar’s Edition by Joseph Stromberg  (p. xix)

Preface to Revised Edition  (p. lxxxix)

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1. The Concept of Action  (p. 1)
2. First Implications of the Concept  (p. 2)
3. Further Implications: The Means  (p. 8)
4. Further Implications: Time  (p. 13)
5. Further Implications  (p. 17)
    A. Ends and Values  (p. 17)
    B. The Law of Marginal Utility  (p. 21)
6. Factors of Production: The Law of Returns  (p. 33)
7. Factors of Production: Convertibility and Valuation  (p. 38)
8. Factors of Production: Labor versus Leisure  (p. 42)
9. The Formation of Capital  (p. 47)
10. Action as an Exchange  (p. 70)
Appendix A: Praxeology and Economics  (p. 72)
Appendix B: On Means and Ends  (p. 76)

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1. Types of Interpersonal Action: Violence  (p. 79)
2. Types of Interpersonal Action:
     Voluntary Exchange and the Contractual Society  (p. 84)
3. Exchange and the Division of Labor  (p. 95)
4. Terms of Exchange  (p. 103)
5. Determination of Price: Equilibrium Price  (p. 106)
6. Elasticity of Demand  (p. 126)
7. Speculation and Supply and Demand Schedules  (p. 130)
8. Stock and the Total Demand to Hold  (p. 137)
9. Continuing Markets and Changes in Price  (p. 142)
10. Specialization and Production of Stock  (p. 153)
11. Types of Exchangeable Goods  (p. 162)
12. Property: The Appropriation of Raw Land  (p. 169)
13. Enforcement Against Invasion of Property (p. 176)

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1. The Limitations of Direct Exchange  (p. 187)
2. The Emergence of Indirect Exchange  (p. 189)
3. Some Implications of the Emergence of Money  (p. 193)
4. The Monetary Unit  (p. 196)
5. Money Income and Money Expenditures  (p. 198)
6. Producers’ Expenditures  (p. 206)
7. Maximizing Income and Allocating Resources  (p. 213)

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1. Money Prices  (p. 233)
2. Determination of Money Prices  (p. 238)
3. Determination of Supply and Demand Schedules  (p. 249)
4. The Gains of Exchange  (p. 257)
5. The Marginal Utility of Money  (p. 261)
    A. The Consumer  (p. 261)
    B. The Money Regression  (p. 268)
    C. Utility and Costs  (p. 276)
    D. Planning and the Range of Choice  (p. 279)
6. Interrelations among the Prices of Consumers’ Goods  (p. 280)
7. The Prices of Durable Goods and Their Services  (p. 288)
8. Welfare Comparisons and the Ultimate Satisfactions of the Consumer  (p. 298)
9. Some Fallacies Relating to Utility  (p. 302)
Appendix A: The Diminishing Marginal Utility of Money  (p. 311)
Appendix B: On Value  (p. 316)

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1. Some Fundamental Principles of Action  (p. 319)
2. The Evenly Rotating Economy  (p. 320)
3. The Structure of Production: A World of Specific Factors  (p. 329)
4. Joint Ownership of the Product by the Owners of the Factors  (p. 333)
5. Cost  (p. 340)
6. Ownership of the Product by Capitalists: Amalgamated Stages  (p. 345)
7. Present and Future Goods: The Pure Rate of Interest  (p. 348)
8. Money Costs, Prices, and Alfred Marshall  (p. 353)
9. Pricing and the Theory of Bargaining  (p. 362)

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1. Many Stages: The Pure Rate of Interest  (p. 367)
2. The Determination of the Pure Rate of Interest:
    The Time Market  (p. 375)
3. Time Preference and Individual Value Scales  (p. 379)
4. The Time Market and the Production Structure  (p. 390)
5. Time Preference, Capitalists, and Individual Money Stock  (p. 410)
6. The Post-Income Demanders  (p. 416)
7. The Myth of the Importance of the Producers’ Loan Market  (p. 420)
8. The Joint-Stock Company  (p. 426)
9. Joint-Stock Companies and the Producers’ Loan Market  (p. 435)
10. Forces Affecting Time Preferences  (p. 443)
11. The Time Structure of Interest Rates  (p. 445)
Appendix: Schumpeter and the Zero Rate of Interest  (p. 450)

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1. Imputation of the Discounted Marginal Value Product  (p. 453)
2. Determination of the Discounted Marginal Value Product  (p. 465)
    A. Discounting  (p. 465)
    B. The Marginal Physical Product  (p. 466)
        (1) The Law of Returns  (p. 468)
        (2) Marginal Physical Product and Average Physical Product  (p. 468)
    C. Marginal Value Product  (p. 475)
3. The Source of Factor Incomes  (p. 478)
4. Land and Capital Goods  (p. 479)
5. Capitalization and Rent  (p. 488)
6. The Depletion of Natural Resources  (p. 496)
Appendix A: Marginal Physical and Marginal Value Product  (p. 500)
Appendix B: Professor Rolph and the Marginal Productivity Theory  (p. 504)

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1. Entrepreneurial Profit and Loss  (p. 509)
2. The Effect of Net Investment  (p. 517)
3. Capital Values and Aggregate Profits in a Changing Economy  (p. 527)
4. Capital Accumulation and the Length of the
    Structure of Production  (p. 537)
5. The Adoption of a New Technique  (p. 544)
    A.The Entrepreneur and Innovation  (p. 546)
6. The Beneficiaries of Saving-Investment  (p. 547)
7. The Progressing Economy and the Pure Rate of Interest  (p. 549)
8. The Entrepreneurial Component in the Market Interest Rate  (p. 550)
9. Risk, Uncertainty, and Insurance  (p. 552)

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1. Introduction  (p. 557)
2. Land, Labor, and Rent  (p. 557)
    A. Rent  (p. 557)
    B. The Nature of Labor  (p. 564)
    C. Supply of Land  (p. 566)
    D. Supply of Labor  (p. 572)
    E. Productivity and Marginal Productivity  (p. 578)
    F. A Note on Overt and Total Wage Rates  (p. 580)
    G. The "Problem" of Unemployment  (p. 581)
3. Entrepreneurship and Income  (p. 588)
    A. Costs to the Firm  (p. 588)
    B. Business Income  (p. 601)
    C. Personal Consumer Service (p. 605)
    D. Market Calculation and Implicit Earnings  (p. 606)
    E. Vertical Integration and the Size of the Firm  (p. 609)
4. The Economics of Location and Spatial Relations  (p. 617)
5. A Note on the Fallacy of "Distribution"  (p. 622)
6. A Summary of the Market  (p. 624)

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1. The Concept of Consumers’ Sovereignty  (p. 629)
    A. Consumers' Sovereignty versus Individual Sovereignty  (p. 629)
    B. Professor Hutt and Consumers' Sovereignty  (p. 631)
2. Cartels and Their Consequences  (p. 636)
    A. Cartels and "Monopoly Price"  (p. 636)
    B. Cartels, Mergers, and Corporations  (p. 643)
    C. Economics, Technology, and the Size of the Firm  (p. 645)
    D. The Instability of the Cartel  (p. 651)
    E. Free Competition and Cartels  (p. 653)
    F.  The Problem of One Big Cartel  (p. 659)
3. The Illusion of Monopoly Price  (p. 661)
    A. Definitions of Monopoly  (p. 661)
    B. The Neoclassical Theory of Monopoly Price  (p. 672)
    C. Consequences of Monopoly-Price Theory  (p. 675)
        (1) The Competitive Environment  (p. 675)
       (2) Monopoly Profit versus Monopoly Gain to a Factor  (p. 677)
        (3) A World of Monopoly Prices?  (p. 680)
        (4) "Cutthroat" Competition  (p. 681)
    D. The Illusion of Monopoly Price on the Unhampered Market  (p. 687)
    E. Some Problems in the Theory of the Illusion
        of Monopoly Price  (p. 698)
        (1) Location Monopoly  (p. 698)
        (2) Natural Monopoly  (p. 702)
4. Labor Unions  (p. 704)
    A. Restrictionist Pricing of Labor  (p. 704)
    B. Some Arguments for Unions: A Critique  (p. 716)
        (1) Indeterminacy  (p. 716)
        (2) Monopsony and Oligopsony  (p. 717)
        (3) Greater Efficiency and the "Ricardo Effect"  (p. 718)
5. The Theory of Monopolistic or Imperfect Competition  (p. 720)
    A. Monopolistic Competitive Price  (p. 720)
    B. The Paradox of Excess Capacity  (p. 726)
    C. Chamberlin and Selling Cost  (p. 736)
6. Multiform Prices and Monopoly  (p. 739)
7. Patents and Copyrights  (p. 745)

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  1. Introduction  (p. 755)
  2. The Money Relation: The Demand for and the
      Supply of Money  (p. 756)
  3. Changes in the Money Relation  (p. 762)
  4. Utility of the Stock of Money  (p. 764)
  5. The Demand for Money  (p. 767)
      A. Money in the ERE and in the Market  (p. 767)
      B. Speculative Demand  (p. 768)
      C. Secular Influences on the Demand for Money  (p. 771)
      D. Demand for Money Unlimited?  (p. 772)
      E. The PPM and the Rate of Interest  (p. 773)
      F. Hoarding and the Keynesian System  (p. 776)
          (1) Social Income, Expenditures, and Unemployment  (p. 776)
          (2) "Liquidity Preference"  (p. 785)
      G. The Purchasing-Power and Terms-of-Trade Components in the
          Rate of Interest  (p. 792)
  6. The Supply of Money  (p. 798)
      A. The Stock of the Money Commodity  (p. 798)
      B. Claims to Money: The Money Warehouse  (p. 800)
      C. Money-Substitutes and the Supply of Money  (p. 805)
      D. A Note on Some Criticisms of 100-Percent Reserve  (p. 810)
  7. Gains and Losses During a Change in the Money Relation  (p. 811)
  8. The Determination of Prices: The Goods Side and
      the Money Side  (p. 815)
  9. Interlocal Exchange  (p. 818)
      A. Uniformity of the Geographic Purchasing Power of Money  (p. 818)
      B. Clearing in Interlocal Exchange  (p. 821)
10. Balances of Payments  (p. 822)
11. Monetary Attributes of Goods  (p. 826)
      A. Quasi Money  (p. 826)
      B. Bills of Exchange (p. 827)
12. Exchange Rates of Coexisting Moneys  (p. 828)
13. The Fallacy of the Equation of Exchange  (p. 831)
14. The Fallacy of Measuring and Stabilizing the PPM  (p. 843)
      A. Measurement  (p. 843)
      B. Stabilization  (p. 847)
15. Business Fluctuations  (p. 851)
16. Schumpeter’s Theory of Business Cycles  (p. 854)
17. Further Fallacies of the Keynesian System  (p. 859
      A. Interest and Investment  (p. 859)
      B. The "Consumption Function"  (p. 860)
      C. The Multiplier  (p. 866)
18. The Fallacy of the Acceleration Principle  (p. 868)

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  1. Introduction  (p. 875)
  2. A Typology of Intervention  (p. 877)
  3. Direct Effects of Intervention on Utility  (p. 878)
  4. Utility Ex Post: Free Market and Government  (p. 885)
  5. Triangular Intervention: Price Control  (p. 892)
  6. Triangular Intervention: Product Control  (p. 900)
  7. Binary Intervention: The Government Budget  (p. 907)
  8. Binary Intervention: Taxation  (p. 914)
      A. Income Taxation  (p. 914)
      B. Attempts at Neutral Taxation  (p. 919)
      C. Shifting and Incidence: A Tax on an Industry  (p. 927)
      D. Shifting and Incidence: A General Sales Tax  (p. 930)
      E. A Tax on Land Values  (p. 934)
      F. Taxing "Excess Purchasing Power"  (p. 937)
  9. Binary Intervention: Government Expenditures  (p. 938)
      A. The "Productive Contribution" of Government Spending  (p. 938)
      B. Subsidies and Transfer Payments  (p. 942)
      C. Resource-Using Activities  (p. 944)
      D. The Fallacy of Government on a "Business Basis"  (p. 946)
      E. Centers of Calculational Chaos  (p. 952)
      F. Conflict and the Command Posts  (p. 953)
      G. The Fallacies of "Public" Ownership  (p. 955)
      H. Social Security  (p. 957)
      I. Socialism and Central Planning  (p. 958)
10. Growth, Affluence, and Government  (p. 962)
      A. The Problem of Growth  (p. 962)
      B. Professor Galbraith and the Sin of Affluence  (p. 973)
11. Binary Intervention: Inflation and Business Cycles  (p. 989)
      A. Inflation and Credit Expansion  (p. 989)
      B. Credit Expansion and the Business Cycle  (p. 994)
      C. Secondary Developments of the Business Cycle  (p. 1004)
      D. The Limits of Credit Expansion  (p. 1008)
      E. The Government as Promoter of Credit Expansion  (p. 1014)
      F. The Ultimate Limit: The Runaway Boom  (p. 1018)
      G. Inflation and Compensatory Fiscal Policy  (p. 1021)
12. Conclusion: The Free Market and Coercion  (p. 1024)
Appendix A: Government Borrowing  (p. 1025)
Appendix B: "Collective Goods" and "External Benefits":
      Two Arguments for Government Activity  (p. 1029)

Power and Market

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1. Types of Intervention  (p. 1057)
2. Direct Effects of Intervention on Utility  (p. 1061)
    A. Intervention and Conflict  (p. 1061)
    B. Democracy and the Voluntary  (p. 1065)
    C. Utility and Resistance to Invasion  (p. 1067)
    D. The Argument from Envy  (p. 1068)
    E. Utility Ex Post  (p. 1069)

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1. Price Control  (p. 1075)
2. Product Control: Prohibition  (p. 1086)
3. Product Control: Grant of Monopolistic Privilege  (p. 1089)
    A. Compulsory Cartels  (p. 1094)
    B. Licenses  (p. 1094)
    C. Standards of Quality and Safety  (p. 1096)
    D. Tariffs  (p. 1101)
    E. Immigration Restrictions  (p. 1107)
    F. Child Labor Laws  (p. 1111)
    G. Conscription  (p. 1113)
    H. Minimum Wage Laws and Compulsory Unionism  (p. 1114)
    I. Subsidies to Unemployment (p. 1115)
    J. Penalties on Market Forms  (p. 1115)
    K. Antitrust Laws  (p. 1117)
    L. Outlawing Basing-Point Pricing  (p. 1121)
    M. Conservation Laws  (p. 1122)
    N. Patents  (p. 1133)
    O. Franchises and "Public Utilities"  (p. 1138)
    P. The Right of Eminent Domain  (p. 1139)
    Q. Bribery of Government Officials  (p. 1141)
    R. Policy Toward Monopoly  (p. 1143)
Appendix A: On Private Coinage  (p. 1144)
Appendix B: Coercion and Lebensraum  (p. 1146)

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1. Introduction: Government Revenues and Expenditures  (p. 1149)
2. The Burdens and Benefits of Taxation and Expenditures  (p. 1151)
3. The Incidence and Effects of Taxation  (p. 1156)
    Part I: Taxes on Incomes  (p. 1156)
    A. The General Sales Tax and the Laws of Incidence  (p. 1156)
    B. Partial Excise Taxes; Other Production Taxes  (p. 1162)
    C. General Effects of Income Taxation  (p. 1164)
    D. Particular Forms of Income Taxation  (p. 1171)
        (1) Taxes on Wages  (p. 1171)
        (2) Corporate Income Taxation  (p. 1171)
        (3) "Excess" Profit Taxation  (p. 1173)
        (4) The Capital Gains Problem  (p. 1174)
        (5) Is a Tax on Consumption Possible?  (p. 1180)
4. The Incidence and Effects of Taxation  (p. 1183)
    Part II: Taxation on Accumulated Capital  (p. 1183)
    A. Taxation on Gratuitous Transfers: Bequests and Gifts  (p. 1185)
    B. Property Taxation  (p. 1185)
    C. A Tax on Individual Wealth  (p. 1190)
5. The Incidence and Effects of Taxation  (p. 1191)
    Part III: The Progressive Tax  (p. 1191)
6. The Incidence and Effects of Taxation  (p. 1196)
    Part IV: The "Single Tax" on Ground Rent  (p. 1196)
7. Canons of "Justice" in Taxation  (p. 1214)
    A. The Just Tax and the Just Price  (p. 1214)
    B. Costs of Collection, Convenience, and Certainty  (p. 1216)
    C. Distribution of the Tax Burden  (p. 1218)
        (1) Uniformity of Treatment  (p. 1218)
             a. Equality Before the Law: Tax Exemption  (p. 1218)
             b. The Impossibility of Uniformity  (p. 1221)
        (2) The "Ability-to-Pay" Principle  (p. 1224)
             a. The Ambiguity of the Concept  (p. 1224)
             b. The Justice of the Standard  (p. 1227)
        (3) Sacrifice Theory  (p. 1231)
        (4) The Benefit Principle  (p. 1236)
        (5) The Equal Tax and the Cost Principle  (p. 1240)
        (6) Taxation "For Revenue Only"  (p. 1244)
        (7) The Neutral Tax: A Summary  (p. 1244)
    D. Voluntary Contributions to Government  (p. 1245)

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1. Government Subsidies: Transfer Payments  (p. 1254)
2. Resource-Using Activities: Government Ownership versus Private Ownership  (p. 1259)
3. Resource-Using Activities: Socialism  (p. 1272)
4. The Myth of "Public" Ownership  (p. 1276)
5. Democracy  (p. 1279)
Appendix: The Role of Government Expenditures
 in National Product Statistics  (p. 1292)

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 1. Introduction: Praxeological Criticism of Ethics  (p. 1297)
 2. Knowledge of Self-Interest: An Alleged Critical Assumption  (p. 1300)
 3. The Problem of Immoral Choices  (p. 1303)
 4. The Morality of Human Nature  (p. 1306)
 5. The Impossibility of Equality  (p. 1308)
 6. The Problem of Security  (p. 1313)
 7. Alleged Joys of the Society of Status  (p. 1315)
 8. Charity and Poverty  (p. 1318)
 9. The Charge of "Selfish Materialism"  (p. 1321)
10. Back to the Jungle?  (p. 1324)
11. Power and Coercion  (p. 1326)
      A. "Other Forms of Coercion": Economic Power  (p. 1326)
      B. Power Over Nature and Power Over Man  (p. 1329)
12. The Problem of Luck  (p. 1333)
13. The Traffic-Manager Analogy  (p. 1334)
14. Over- and Underdevelopment  (p. 1334)
15. The State and the Nature of Man  (p. 1335)
16. Human Rights and Property Rights  (p. 1337)
Appendix: Professor Oliver on Socioeconomic Goals  (p. 1340)
      A. The Attack on Natural Liberty  (p. 1341)
      B. The Attack on Freedom of Contract  (p. 1344)
      C. The Attack on Income According to Earnings  (p. 1347)

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1. Economics: Its Nature and Its Uses  (p. 1357)
2. Implicit Moralizing: The Failures of Welfare Economics  (p. 1360)
3. Economics and Social Ethics  (p. 1363)
4. The Market Principle and the Hegemonic Principle  (p. 1365)

Bibliography  (p. 1371)

Index of Names  (p. 1395)
Index of Subjects  (p. 1407)

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