The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Böhm Bawerk, Eugen von

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BÖHM (bėm) BAWERK, Eugen von, Austrian economist and statesman: b. Brünn, 12 Feb. 1851. He studied law in Vienna and political economy and social science at the universities of Heidelberg, Leipzig and Jena. In 1880 he became privatdocent in the University of Vienna, later assistant professor at Innsbrück and professor there in 1884. He was next chief of department in the Ministry of Finance and in 1895 became Minister. In 1897 he was Ambassador at the German court and in 1904 became, for the second time, Minister of Finance. In 1899 he was elevated to the Upper Chamber; in 1907 became vice-president and in 1911 president of the Academy of Science. He is honorary professor of political economy in the University of Vienna. Böhm-Bawerk's greatest influence has been wielded in the field of economics to which he has contributed many works of the greatest merit, which have raised discussion to a high level and have been a constant and powerful stimulus to investigation in this important field. His ‘Geschichte und Kritik der Kapitalzins-Theorien,’ was a notable contribution to the critical literature of economic science. It was made available for English students in 1890 by Prof. William Smart of Glasgow. In the United States it has had a great vogue. Abundant proofs of Böhm-Bawerk's influence are furnished by our literature. A glance at the files of the Political Science Quarterly, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Annals indicates that a large proportion of the articles treating of economic theory are either directly upon some phase of Böhm-Bawerk's work or theories, or have been clearly influenced, if not directly inspired, by them. He is a proponent of the separate existence of the abstinence and the use theories of capital and interest and opposes the theory of productivity. His works include, in addition to the work mentioned above, ‘Karl Marx and the Close of His System’ (a criticism, London 1898); ‘The Positive Theory of Capital and its Critics’ (in Quarterly Journal of Economics, April 1895); ‘Recent Literature on Interest, 1884-1899’ (Eng. trans. by W. A. Scott, New York 1903).