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Capital as in capitalism, or capital as in capital goods, or both?

Eduard Braun ()
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Eduard Braun: Clausthal University of Technology

The Review of Austrian Economics, 2020, vol. 33, issue 3, No 7, 383-395

Abstract: Abstract Austrian economists employ two different concepts of capital. Sometimes they treat capital as a universal phenomenon of human action as such. Capital is then understood as a combination of heterogeneous capital goods that appear on the intermediate stages of the production process. In other instances, they understand capital as a homogeneous value magnitude expressed in money terms that is employed in business accounting. This paper argues that this practice not only creates terminological confusion, but leads to substantial misunderstandings when it comes to important theories held by the Austrian school. The point is exemplified by the Austrian theory of the business cycle.

Keywords: Capital; Capitalism; Capital goods; Austrian business cycle theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B53 D24 P12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11138-018-0415-6

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