His theories of interest and capital were catalysts in the development of economics, but Böhm-Bawerk gave three reasons why interest rates are positive. First. Translator’s Preface↩. My only reasons for writing a preface to a work so exhaustive, and in itself so lucid, as Professor Böhm-Bawerk’s Kapital und Kapitalzins. Capital and Interest (LvMI) – Kindle edition by Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, William Smart. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or.

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They would have time recognised as the equivalent for which they receive the surplus income formed by the interest. At the same time the prohibition became more felt as calital extended to wider circles, and as its transgression was punished more severely.

The creditor is usually rich, the debtor poor; and the former appears in the hateful light of a man who squeezes something from the little of the poor, in the shape of interest, to add it to his own superfluous wealth.

Capital and Interest – Wikipedia

This is very clearly and fully put by Thomas Aquinas. Calvin goes shortly and directly at what to him is the heart of the matter, without troubling himself to refute secondary objections. The surplus then may capitxl assumed to represent something contributed by capital to the value of products. Not one, nor two, nor three, but a round dozen of interest theories testify to the zeal with which economists have devoted themselves to the investigation of this remarkable problem.

One passage in ancient literature has, in my opinion, a direct value for the history of theory, inasmuch as it allows us to infer what really was the opinion of its author on the economic nature of interest; that is, the often quoted passage in the first book of Aristotle’s Politics.

If, in calculating the remuneration due him, he claims one sum as wage for labour, and another as reward for abstaining from the immediate enjoyment of his own wealth, he really makes the double calculation familiarly known as eating one’s cake and having it. Its theologising and moralising do little more than simply express abhorrence of the taking of interest and appeal to authorities. The lender is paid in interest for fruits which barren money cannot bear.

The social and political problem asks whether there should be interest on capital—whether it is just, fair, useful, good,—and whether it should be retained, modified, or abolished.


Then, of the total profit from the undertaking, that amount which would be enough to pay the usual rate of interest on the capital invested in it, is put down to capital, while the remainder is put to the account of the undertaker’s activity as the profit of undertaking. In doing so he decides to undergo the sacrifice of labour in personally employing his capitaland that labour is made productive and remunerative by the aid of the capital. Molinaeus, on the other hand, is inexhaustible in distinctions and casuistry.

Henry Aand had by removed the prohibition of interest, and replaced it by a simple legal rate. We have only to give the theoretical explanation of that acquisition of wealth which is derived from different complexes of goods, exclusive of land.

Online Library of Liberty

But in production, as it seemed to him, there was another sacrifice besides the prominent one of labour, that of abstinence, and interest in his view was the compensation for this sacrifice. In Attica interest had for long been free from legal restriction. Or it may happen that one comes to the theoretical conclusion that interest has its origin in the exploitation of the labourer, made possible by the relations of competition between labour and capital; and on that account he may, without more ado, condemn the institution of interest, and advocate its abolition.

When, therefore, the usurer would charge a price for time, as though it were a good received from him, he defrauds his neighbour, to whom the time he sells already belongs as much as it does to him, the seller, and he defrauds God, for whose free gift he demands a price.

Bohm-bawer, although more cautious in expression than the impetuous Calvin, he is quite as frank, pithy, and straightforward. Passing over the immediate disciples of Calvin, who naturally agreed with the views of their master, there were few writers in the sixteenth century who ventured to argue in favour of interest on economical grounds.

It is the unpaid sacrifice of labour.

bohm-bawrk It is the explanation of Net interest with which the theory of interest naturally has to do. Labour and capital co-operate in making it, and the individual form and share of each is lost in the joint product. Whether these exertions were quite as successful as they were zealous may with some reason be doubted.


After a few introductory definitions, he turns to the examination of the acpital divinum, and finds that the relevant passages of Holy Writ are misinterpreted.

I shall very shortly state those rational arguments that have an interest for us, and verify them by one or two quotations from such writers as have given them clear and practical expression.

Capital and Interest: A Critical History of Economic Theory – Online Library of Liberty

The essential difference between the two transactions is that, on 1st January the price of the plane is another similar plane; on the 31st December it is a plane plus a plank. In this position we find it in the two great cameralists who flourish at the end of our period, Justi and Sonnenfels. It should bom-bawerk be at once and frankly confessed that the Socialist contention may afford an explanation of a great proportion of what is vaguely known as “undertaker’s profit.

Thus we fail to recognise that there is in natural interest, as well as in loan interest, the strange element of acquisition of wealth without labour.

In one place, quite in the spirit of Salmasius, Sonnenfels adduces as arguments for the capitalists’ claim, the want of their money, their risk, and the uses they might have got by the purchase of things that produced fruit. But time is a common good that belongs to no one in particular, but is given to all equally by God. Then it was forbidden the laity also, but still the prohibition only came from the Church.

Influenced by Bohmb-awerk he finds its origin in an interception of the circulation of money by the capitalists, out of whose hands it can only be attracted by a tribute in the shape of interest. It was to its pressure bohm-bawrk the revolution bojm-bawerk opinion was due, theory meanwhile halting clumsily behind the reform in public opinion and legislation.

This was the view taken, among others, by several of the great reformers, e. As early as the year we meet with the works of Kloppenburg, Boxhorn, Maresius, Graswinckel.

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