Menger, Carl, 1840-1921

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Born in 1840; studied economics at the Universities of Prague and Vienna, 1859-1863; became a prominent economic journalist, as well as writing a number of novels and comedies; gained a doctorate in law, 1866, and worked as an apprentice lawyer until granted a law degree from the University of Krakow, 1867; returned to work as a journalist, and developed Mengarian economics, which reconstructed price theory; published The principles of economics , 1871; joined the civil service, in the Press Department of the Austrian Cabinet, 1870-1873; appointed Lecturer, 1872, and Associate Professor, 1873-1876, Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Vienna; tutor of Crown Prince Rudolph von Hapsburg, 1876-1878; Professor of Political Economy, Faculty of Law, University of Vienna, 1879-1903; published Investigation into the method of social sciences with special reference to economics , 1883; publication of The errors of historicism in German economics , 1884, began a lengthy debate between the Austrian School and the German Historical School; Member of a Commission charged with the reformation of the Austrian monetary system, 1888-1892; died 1921.

From the guide to the MENGER, Carl, 1840-1921, Austrian economist, [1890], (British Library of Political and Economic Science)

Economic theorist and professor.

From the description of Carl Menger Papers, 1855-1985 (bulk 1867-1921). (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 122427439

From the description of Papers, 1857-1985 bulk (1867-1920). (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 22299956

Carl Menger (1840-1921), was the founder of the Austrian school of economics.

He was born in Neu Sandec Austro-Hungary in 1840. Menger received the Dr Law from Cracow University in 1867 and was a full professor at the University of Vienna 1879-1903. Among his important works is "The Principles of Economics" (1871) which is a detailed account of the relation between utility, value, and price. Carl Menger died in 1921.

From the description of Carl Menger photograph collection 1910. (Johns Hopkins University). WorldCat record id: 48388291

  • 1840, February 23: Born, Neu Sandec, Galicia (then in the Austrian part of Poland)
  • 1863 - 1871 : Editorial and reporting posts on the Lemberger Zeitung, then on the Wiener Zeitung
  • 1867: Doctorate in jurisprudence, University of Cracow
  • 1871: Publication of Grundsätze der Volkswirthschaftslehre
  • 1872 - 76 : Habilitation and appointment as professor extraordinarius, University of Vienna
  • 1876 - 78 : Tutor and traveling companion to Archduke Rudolf, Austrian crown prince
  • 1879: Full professorship, University of Vienna
  • 1883: Publication of Untersuchungen über die Methode der Socialwissenschaften, und der Politischen Oekonomie insbesondere, which precipitated the Methodenstreit with the younger German Historical School
  • 1884: Publication of Irrtimer des Historismus in der Deutschen Nationalkonomie, Menger's reply to criticism by Gustav Schmoller
  • 1892: Joined the Austrian state commission on currency reform and the evaluation of a bullion standard
  • 1903: Retired prematurely from his active professorship to devote himself entirely to research
  • 1921: Died in Vienna
  • 1923: Publication of a second edition of the Grundsätze edited by Menger's son Karl

Carl Menger was born in 1840 in Neu Sandec, Galicia, of well-to-do titled parents. His life followed a path typical for someone in a family of similar social and intellectual standing. His work as journalist, tutor to the crown prince, and professor marked his role as part of a flowering European intellectual elite.

After attending Gymnasium, he matriculated at the universities of Vienna and Prague, leaving school in 1863 for a position on the staff of the Lemberger Zeitung. He continued to hold a number of other reporting and editorial posts over the course of the next dozen years, ending with the Wiener Zeitung. The list of Menger's contributions to the press in later years attests to the ties he retained in this area.

In the meantime, Menger received his doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Cracow and began his work on political economy. By 1871 he had begun the process of publication and simultaneously applied for full instatement on the law faculty at the University of Vienna. In his diary, Menger noted it was not without some difficulty that he achieved this goal in July of 1872. For the next several years he taught finance and political economy to an increasing number of students, both in seminars and lectures, while also contributing to the Wiener Zeitung.

In the fall of 1876, Menger was approached with a request to become tutor in political economy and statistics to the Crown Prince of Austria. The ensuing association lasted until the death of the prince in 1889 and brought the talented young economist in contact with politically and socially influential people throughout Europe and England. He made two tours with Crown Prince Rudolf, one throughout Europe, and a second to the British Isles. Menger's contact with the prince lessened after their travels and after the prince had successfully completed his examinations, but from Menger's diary entries it is clear he continued to benefit from this royal association, particularly in the area of university appointments.

With the exception of the short hiatus of a few semesters with the crown prince, Menger taught until 1903, when he retired early in order to devote himself entirely to research. He spent the majority of his professional academic career in Vienna, a city acknowledged as one of the premier cultural centers on the continent. His writings, like his background, are a window upon the mind and concerns of the late-nineteenth-century intellectual. Far from having a focused and narrow concern with a particular aspect of economics, Menger sought to define the discipline and science of (non-mathematical) economics and to place it within the broader context of intellectual inquiry. Although the last several decades of Menger's life may be quickly described as involved in teaching and research, comprehending the quality and quantity of his life's work presents a great challenge to contemporary researchers.

From the guide to the Carl Menger papers, 1857-1985, (Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Schmutzer, Ferdinand, 1870-1928. Etching of Carl Menger, nd. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf MENGER, Carl, 1840-1921, Austrian economist, [1890] British Library of Political and Economic Science
creatorOf Menger, Carl, 1840-1921. Carl Menger Papers, 1855-1985 (bulk 1867-1921). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Menger, Karl, 1902-1985. Papers, [ca. 1890-1985]. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Carl Menger papers, 1857-1985 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Menger, Carl, 1840-1921. Papers, 1857-1985 bulk (1867-1920). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Menger, Karl, 1902-1985. Papers, [ca. 1890-1985]. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Menger, Carl, 1840-1921. Carl Menger photograph collection 1910. Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Böhm-Bawerk, Eugen von, 1851-1914. person
associatedWith Conrad, J. (Johannes), 1839-1915. person
associatedWith Gomperz, Theodor, 1832-1912. person
associatedWith Hayek, Friedrich A. von (Friedrich August), 1899-1992. person
associatedWith Jodl, Friedrich, 1849-1914. person
associatedWith Kraus, Karl, 1874-1936. person
associatedWith London School of Economics and Political Science corporateBody
associatedWith Menger, Anton, 1841-1906. person
associatedWith Menger, Karl, 1902-1985. person
associatedWith Menger, Max, 1838-1911. person
associatedWith Menger, Max (Maximilian), 1838-1911. person
associatedWith Morganstern, Oskar, 1902-1977. person
associatedWith Morgenstern, Oskar, 1902-1977. person
associatedWith Philippovich, Eugen von, 1858-1917. person
associatedWith Sax, Emil, 1845-1927. person
associatedWith Schmutzer, Ferdinand, 1870-1928. person
associatedWith Schnitzler, Arthur, 1862-1931. person
associatedWith Schüller, Richard, 1870-1972. person
associatedWith Schumpeter, Joseph Alois, 1883-1950. person
associatedWith Sienkiewicz, Henryk, 1846-1916. person
associatedWith Von Mises, Ludwig, 1881-1973. person
associatedWith Weininger, Otto, 1880-1903. person
associatedWith Wicksell, Knut, 1851-1926. person
associatedWith Wieser, Friedrich, Freiherr von, 1851-1926. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Austrian school of economics
Economics--Study and teaching
Gold standard
Political history
Political science


Birth 1840-02-23

Death 1921-02-26






Ark ID: w6r217tc

SNAC ID: 71953238