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The Austrian school: history and economic legacy

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  1. Introduction
  2. Strategic diagnosis
  3. Panorama of the industry of beer
    1. The world leader in the beer industry is the group AB Inbev
    2. The 2nd group is the world leader SABMiller
    3. The third group is the world leader Heineken
    4. The fourth group is the world leader Carlsberg
    5. The fifth group is the world leader Karlsberg
  4. The five leaders in the beer industry in France
  5. Evolution of the sector
    1. Problem
    2. PEST analysis and study of the macro environment
  6. Analysis of macro environment
  7. Strengths and Weaknesses of competition
  8. Recommendations
  9. Conclusion

The term 'school' may seem abnormal, when it is used to define a movement that never defined itself as a "school" during the years of its activity. In fact, the real challenge, in speaking of this intellectual movement, is to identify the players and not confuse all economists related to the "school" with all other Austrian intellectuals who were active in the same period.

The true birth of the term "Austrian school" is finally due to the German economists, opponents who used the term to despise Austrian thought. One must also note how the other two Austrian intellectual movements - the psychoanalytic movement and the Vienna Circle - had the opportunity to choose their own name and be internationally recognized as carriers of authoritative ideas. The only thing that the three groups had in common was their unpopularity among Austrian university lounges.

The work of the school is generally said to have begun in 1871 after the publication by Carl Menger (the real father of the movement) of "Principles of Economics", and in this analysis it will refer to the theories proposed by him, because he is recognized as the leader of this line of thought. It was he who created the first "school" and therefore this analysis will be focused on him.

The Austrian university system was able to ensure a high academic freedom. Even if universities were state-run organizations (and one can assume any form of influence on the activity of research and teaching) it can recognize a broad and general freedom, tolerance and independence of the Austrian academics.

This freedom was "de facto" guaranteed by statute as "Privatdozent" for teachers in Vienna were compared with other European colleagues, as a private teacher admitted to the university as a professor who had no right to any form of compensation by the state and therefore no control or direct supervision. They received only the fees that students gave (not enough obviously to ensure an acceptable level of life) and were forced to find alternative jobs to live in a suitable manner.

The concept of "Privatdozent" was almost unknown in universities of Anglo-Saxon countries where on the contrary, the power control of the universities was so strong along with the remuneration given to teachers. In this analysis the initiator trio are taken into consideration: Menger, Bohm-Bawerkand and Wieser as they are the characters between which it is easier to find a true coherence of ideas and theories.

Carl Menger was probably the most talented and most modest of the trio initial and especially as he had no idea in terms of the magnitude of his work and how it was an innovative and revolutionary economic thought. He did not feel like trying to subvert the order of economic principles or to be creating a real debate with other schools of thought including the German school.

The history of the school is based on the controversies with other economic schools as new and "subversive" theories were truly considered hostile by the other "schools" and one can easily recognize four major controversies during the life of the movement.

Tags: Austrian school; Carl Menger; Principles of Economics; Bohm-Bawerkand and Wieser

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