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WIESER, Friedrich von.

Natural Value.

Edited with a Preface and Analysis by William Smart. The translation by Christian A. Malloch.

Published: London: Macmillan and Co., 1893

Stock code: 91441

Price: £675

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First English language edition, first impression of a classic of economics, in which the author attempts to apply marginal utility analysis to the determination of cost. Wieser (1851–1926) was one of the leading exponents of the Austrian, or “subjective”, school of economics. In his first book, Über den Ursprung und die Hauptgesetze des wirtschaftlichen Werthes (1884), which already foreshadowed theories of the present work, Wieser introduced the term Grenznutzen (marginal utility). The book earned him a lectureship at the University of Vienna. “Here he continued to work on the same problems and also on what he regarded merely as a first step toward a theory of value that was to be fully developed in [the present work]. He employed the expository device of studying value in a centrally directed economy and suggested possible applications of utility theory to public finance. The book gained him almost immediate acclaim, and it was soon translated into English” (Friederich von Hayek in IESS). This copy with bookplate of the American economist Henry Rogers Seager to front pastedown, his signature to front flyleaf, and extensive marginalia in his hand throughout. Seager had studied in Vienna as a post graduate student, but at the time of reading this text was already employed as an instructor in economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1905 he moved to Columbia University, following his appointment as professor of political economy there.

Octavo. Original brown-orange pebble grain cloth, titles to spine gilt, triple frames to boards in blind, black endpapers. Ownership inscription of H. R. Seager dated 1895 to initial blank, with his bookplate to the front pastedown and his extensive ink annotations throughout. Spine slightly cocked, boards lightly rubbed, spine ends and corners slightly worn, front free endpaper loose and with minor chipping to fore edge, rear inner hinge partly cracked, but binding still firm. A very good copy.

Bibliography: Einaudi 6045.

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