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The fate of new ideas: Hermann Heinrich Gossen, his life, work and influence

Gerrit Meijer (Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, and)
Richard F.A. Vogel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



Investigates the fate of Gossen’s ideas and discusses his life, work and influence. Gossen formulated three laws. First, he formulated the law of diminishing marginal utility, which became the foundation of the later marginalist schools. Second, he formulated the law of want equalization which was later elaborated in the Austrian theory of overinvestment or better theory of wrong investment. He was the first to point to the fact that time is a crucial element of value. In this respect, he influenced the discussion on time preference within the Austrian School (critique of Fetter, Mises, and Rotbard on Böhm‐Bawerk). He was also one of the first to use (simple) mathematics in economics.



Meijer, G. and Vogel, R.F.A. (2000), "The fate of new ideas: Hermann Heinrich Gossen, his life, work and influence", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 27 No. 4/5, pp. 416-420.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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