What Distinguishes the Vienna School of Economics?
The core premise of the Vienna School is that all economic phenomena can and must be traced back to their universal building block: individual human action, the atom of economic science. In Mises' words:
"Choosing determines all human decisions. In making his choice man chooses not only between various material things and services. All human values are offered for option. All ends and all means, both material and ideal issues, the sublime and the base, the noble and the ignoble, are ranged in a single row and subjected to a decision which picks out one thing and sets aside another. Nothing that men aim at or want to avoid remains outside of this arrangement into a unique scale of gradation and preference" (Human Action, p. 3).
Economics is therefore "much more than merely a theory of the ‘economic side’ of human endeavors and of man’s striving for commodities and an improvement in his material well-being. It is the science of every kind of human action" (same passage).
This atomistic approach reduces "macroeconomic" phenomena to "microeconomic" patterns of human action and interaction and unifies economic theory into an integrated whole. In particular, recurring sequences of "booms" and "busts" are considered to be caused by expansions of the money supply.
A brief account of the roots of the Great Recession of 2008 is given in The House That Uncle Sam Built.
A great primer is Economics in One Lesson.
What Austrian Economics is and what it is not: https://www.youtube.c...
Same topic, different speaker: https://www.youtube.c... (starts at 5:00, ends at 15:00)
The centerpiece of Austrian Economics, the subjective theory of value: https://www.youtube.c...
The fight of the century, Keynes vs. Hayek (here with Spanish subtitles)
An interesting, if somewhat lurid documentary that also presents some Austrian perspectives on the Great Recession of 2008 is Overdose.
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