Economics at your fingertips  

Three outstanding NOeG presentations: Morgenstern, Viner, and Menger on the laws of costs and returns

Christian Gehrke ()

Empirica, 2019, vol. 46, issue 3, No 8, 519-535

Abstract: Abstract This paper re-examines three outstanding contributions on the laws of costs and returns that were first presented at NOeG meetings in the interwar period. Oskar Morgenstern, in a paper presented in January 1930, provided a lucid account of the unresolved problems in the Marshallian approach to the construction of long-run industry supply curves. A few months later, Jacob Viner presented his classic paper on “Cost curves and supply curves”. Viner’s contribution, with its rigorous geometrical derivation of industry supply curves from the firms’ cost situations in competitive conditions, became the model for innumerable textbook presentations of these issues, and a springboard for many further contributions. In another brilliant paper, first presented at a NOeG meeting in December 1935, Karl Menger severely criticized the axiomatic acceptance of the law of diminishing returns. Menger showed that the existing a priori “proofs” of this law are invalid, and made a strong plea for empirical verification. The present paper re-examines the three contributions, discusses their importance for the further development of partial equilibrium analysis, and suggests some reasons for their continuing relevance for present-day microeconomics.

Keywords: Cost curves; Diminishing returns; Industry supply curves; Alfred Marshall (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B21 B31 D24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ration/journal/10663

DOI: 10.1007/s10663-019-09443-8

Access Statistics for this article

Empirica is currently edited by Fritz Breuss and Fritz Breuss

More articles in Empirica from Springer, Austrian Institute for Economic Research, Austrian Economic Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2021-02-03
Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:46:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s10663-019-09443-8