What Is the Austrian School?

The Austrian School is a very humanistic and multidisciplinary school

whose members develop their theoretical contributions based on human beings; that is, men and women as they actually are. Therefore, Austrians do not focus on a stereotype, a sort of robotic being, the homo economicus who maximizes utility and plays the leading role in the mathematical models of the different versions of the Neoclassical School (from Neo-Keynesians to Chicago theorists).

According to Austrians, the central figure in all social phenomena is the entrepreneur, understood as a human being endowed with an innate, creative, and coordinating ability to uncover worthwhile ends and act to achieve them.

Austrians conceive of society as a spontaneous order: in other words, a competitive process which is never in equilibrium and cannot be centrally designed or controlled by anyone.

Finally, the Austrian School is the quintessential liberal school of economics, since it best explains how state intervention and the institutional coercion of entrepreneurship seriously disrupt the social process of creativity and coordination.

Humanism, entrepreneurship, the dynamic conception of the market, and liberalism are the four distinguishing characteristics of the Austrian approach to economic research.