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Per Bylund

Per Bylund

Contact Per BylundTwitter AwardsLawrence W. Fertig Prize in Austrian Economics Per L. Bylund, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Records-Johnston Professor of Free Enterprise in the School of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University. Visit his website at PerBylund.com.

Articles by Per Bylund

A Strategy for the Austrian School

November 5, 2021

The weekend revolves around a discussion of strategy. Nearly 25 years ago, Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe delivered his famous “What Must Be Done” speech on the pressing topic of how—and whether—to engage the state. Today his prescription for a bottom-up ideological revolution beginning at the local level rings more true than ever. With Hoppe’s admonitions in …

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The Postpandemic World Is One of Widespread Dependence on Government

October 11, 2021

The state is making people dependent on it, both as means for control and as an outcome of many policies intended to provide relief. Original Article: “The Postpandemic World Is One of Widespread Dependence on Government” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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The Postpandemic World Is One of Widespread Dependence on Government

October 2, 2021

The state strives for power, and what grants power is fear and dependence. The state is making people dependent on it, both as means for control and as an outcome of many policies intended to provide relief. We have seen a lot of fear and dependence in this pandemic. Fear has been the message that has …

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The Political Alchemy Called Modern Monetary Theory

September 14, 2021

The new kid on the economics block is something called modern monetary theory. The name is new, but the “theory” is not. Proponents adamantly claim that it is both new and a theory of economics. To make it appear this way, they dress the ideas in unusual-sounding jargon and use rhetorical tricks. For example, instead of …

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Classical Economic Theory and the Modern Economy

August 10, 2021

  Classical Economic Theory and the Modern Economyby Steven KatesEdward Elgar, 2020, 264 pp. Per Bylund ([email protected]) is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Records-Johnston Professor of Free Enterprise in the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, a Fellow of the Mises Institute, and an Associate Fellow of the …

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How Consumer Sovereignty and Entrepreneurship Work Together

January 8, 2021

Consumers are indeed sovereign, but the reason consumers can exercise their sovereignty is that entrepreneurs have already borne the uncertainty of production to make the goods available for purchase. Original Article: “How Consumer Sovereignty and Entrepreneurship Work Together​​​” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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How Consumer Sovereignty and Entrepreneurship Work Together

January 6, 2021

In Human Action, Mises takes two strong positions that are seemingly contradictory. On the one hand, he clearly takes the view that production, and especially the entrepreneurial production by promoters, is the “driving force” of the economy. But, on the other, he argues that consumers are sovereign in their determination of what must be produced …

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Finding the Entrepreneur-Promoter: A Praxeological Inquiry

December 9, 2020

Abstract: Entrepreneur-promoters, or the pioneers of economic improvement, provide an essential market function which economics cannot do without. Yet Ludwig von Mises maintains that this function lies beyond what can be defined with praxeological rigor. This paper attempts to find a praxeological subcategory of entrepreneurship that conforms with Mises’s indeterminate references to the entrepreneur-promoter in …

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Introduction to the Entrepreneurship Special Issue

December 8, 2020

The Austrian school of economics has been all but left by the wayside in economics (e.g., Backhouse 2000). This fate, shared with all “heterodox” approaches that do not fully comply with mainstream dogma, means Austrian theory is at best discounted by other economists. More often, and typically, it is forgotten and a relic of the …

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Debunking Seven Common Criticisms of Austrian Economics

November 25, 2020

Let’s clear up some misconceptions about Austrian economics. If people want to dismiss this school of thought, which many seem inclined to do for political (not theoretical) reasons, at least they should do so based on facts and knowledge, not on falsehoods. Here are corrections:  “Austrian economics is not empirical.” False. Empirical studies (“history”) are …

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The Genius of Mises’s Action Axiom

October 6, 2020

The action axiom is the starting point of Mises’s economic method (praxeology). But it is far more than a place to start. It solves a seemingly intractable problem. When Ludwig von Mises concretized economic thinking as praxeology, he himself held that it was merely a clarification of the pioneering theoretical work of Carl Menger. Menger …

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Entrepreneurship in the Time of COVID-19

June 4, 2020

Per Bylund, author of The Seen, the Unseen, and the Unrealized: How Regulations Affect Our Everyday Lives has commented extensively here at mises.org, and in a variety of entrepreneurship-focused publications, about the economics of entrepreneursip. Editor Ryan McMaken recently asked Professor Bylund to comment on what challenges entrepreneurs face right now in a rapidly changing legal …

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Why an Economy Can’t Work without Market Prices

May 21, 2020

It has been a full century since Mises dropped the economic calculation bomb, but the argument apparently still haunts socialists. It should, since Mises managed to show that a socialist economy is not an economy at all but calculational chaos. Yet it is curious that it does, since most have (incorrectly) concluded that Mises’s argument, …

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How Modern Economics Has Lost Its Way: It’s All About the “Unseen”

May 19, 2020

Economics has lost its way and the study has become both impotent and lacking in relevance. It’s easy to see how and why once we recognize that proper economic thinking takes place two steps beyond the apparent. Noneconomists typically take none of these steps, while modern economics has lost the ability to go beyond the …

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The Benefits of a Free Society during Pandemics

March 27, 2020

In this time of crisis, many exclaim how impressed they are by the “swift and decisive” actions by the Chinese regime. Instead of recognizing the abhorrent disrespect for human life, the Chinese response is put forth as an exemplar for combatting a pandemic. These hailers conveniently forget the many weeks of silencing and censorship that preceded …

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Why “Social” Entrepreneurship Is No Substitute for “Market” Entrepreneurship

March 14, 2020

There is a lot of confusion regarding what entrepreneurship is and how entrepreneurs earn profits. This confusion causes a distinction between “market” entrepreneurship and “social” entrepreneurship that does not, in fact, exist. Generally speaking, “social entrepreneurship” is the providing of value to those in need with the implied understanding that there is no “room” for earning profits. …

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When It Comes to Raw Power, Few Have More of It Than Central Bankers

February 22, 2020

A common retort to the claim that in voluntary exchange both parties expect to become better off (or they wouldn’t do it) is that exchanges are seldom, if ever, a matter of horizontal, equal exchange of values. Instead, any such interaction between people is ultimately a matter of their exercising power over one another. The …

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Is Free Market Economics Too “Ideological”?

February 20, 2020

Free market economics is often ignorantly dismissed for being “ideological” rather than scientific. It probably sounds smart to the economically illiterate, but it is decidedly not. It doesn’t mean nearly what most people assume it does. The word “free” in free market economics is not used as a normative value judgment but indicates an economy that …

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The Economy Is Not a Factory—Nor Should We Try to Make It One

February 8, 2020

A common issue with economists and political economists from left to right is that they misunderstand the market economy as simply being a set of production processes. We see this in Lenin’s statement that the Soviet Union should be run like one big factory. We see it in market socialists from Frederic Taylor to Oskar Lange attempting to …

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Intellectual Property: Innovation Should Serve Consumers, Not Producers

February 6, 2020

Proponents of intellectual property rights often rely on one of two lines of reasoning. The first is based on the misunderstanding that the frequency or volume of innovations determine economic growth. The second is captured by the question, “So if I spend $1 billion on R&D (research and development) to bring a new drug to market, …

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The True Costs of Bad Economists, Explained

January 28, 2020

The eloquent nineteenth-century French economist and liberal Frédéric Bastiat famously noted that what separates a good economist from a bad one is the ability to consider both the seen and the unseen. A bad economist does not recognize the costs down the road, and may thus come to advocate all too costly solutions (as in …

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How Entrepreneurs Build the World

November 4, 2019

Jeff Deist: Professor Bylund, you grew up in Sweden. What stands out from your childhood? PER BYLUND: I grew up in a suburb of Stockholm, separated from Stockholm by just a lot of nature. It’s close enough to be part of the Stockholm metropolitan area, but far enough away from it to be on its …

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Call for Papers: Austrian Entrepreneurship Theory

September 3, 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics:AUSTRIAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP THEORY Submission window: March 15 – April 15, 2020Guest editor: Per Bylund, School of Entrepreneurship, Oklahoma State University Overview Austrian economics is a widely respected body of theory in management broadly (e.g., Jacobson, 1992) and, especially, in entrepreneurship (Klein & Bylund, 2014). …

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Why It’s Important to Understand “Economic Costs”

June 25, 2019

The concept of economic cost seems to confuse people. It is not the price you pay for a good, but the reason you pay it. The cost of one action is the value you could otherwise have gained from taking another action. In other words, if you have $100 and you have the choice to buy two …

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Tariffs Are Attacks on Property Rights and Freedom

May 21, 2019

Rothbard wrote in the Libertarian Forum (v. 1, p. 184) that “… libertarians, if they have any personal philosophy beyond freedom from coercion, are supposed to be at the very least individualists.” Indeed, libertarianism holds high the rights and responsibilities of the sovereign individual: the right to self and to justly acquired property and thus …

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