Israel Kirzner, during this interview with Tibor R. Machan, shares his experience as a student of Ludwig von Mises, his career as a professor of economics at New York University, and his knowledge of the Austrian school of economics, elaborating on its central tenets as a combination of ideas and insights which have evolved since its constitution, leading to a new area of economic science. Kirzner also talks about the theories of human action and decision making, which operate in the market, and shares Ludwig von Mises ideas, as well.


He also talks about the new appraisal to quality competition described in his book Competition and Entrepreneurship, where he comments on the differences between the mainstream competition and the human action competition models and stands out that in the first model, there is no room for the entrepreneur because it claims a market with freedom of entry and lack of privileges of any kind which is not how it works in the real world. He concludes commenting on the debate between those who understand the law of economics and those who deny it.


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  • Initial credits
  • Beginning of the conversation
  • How do you explain the fact that economics still has competing schools?
  • Which are the central tenets of Austrian economics?
  • Does purposefulness of human action influence the way that Austrians look at market as an arena for discovery, rather than just the playing out of desire maximization?
  • Can you provide an example of how decision making influences future decisions?
  • How is your work in Competition and Entrepreneurshipdifferent from the previous contributions of the Austrian economics?  In what way has it enhanced the Austrian school as a science of economics?
  • What is the relation between competition and entrepreneurship?
  • In one of your books, you make the claim that "human beings are motivated to notice that which it is to their benefit to notice"?  Could you explain that quote and relate it to the game theory in economic science?
  • What is the socialist calculation debate?  How much does that distinguish Austrian economics from other non-socialist economic schools?
  • Does your contribution of entrepreneurship have any implications for public policy oriented economic thinking?
  • Recent Austrian economists
  • Ludwig Lachmann
  • Who are other mainstream Austrian economists?
  • Murray N. Rothbard
  • In economics there has been an exceeding progress in the direction of mathematical modelling, has it been entirely misguided from the point of view of the Austrian school?
  • Relationship between Austrian economics and mathematics
  • Which are your thoughts about George Stigler's remark about the effect that in economics, people tend to turn to the conservative side of the political spectrum?
  • Final considerations
  • Final words
  • Final credits