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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 52 of the original version my late colleague Jim Buchanan‘s 1969 article “Is Economics the Science of Choice?”  This article originally appeared in Roads to Freedom: Essays in Honour of Friedrich A. von Hayek (Erich Streissler, Gottfried Haberler, Friedrich A. Lutz, & Fritz Machlup, eds. 1969):

At this point, it seems useful to refer to the distinction between the ‘subjectivist economics’, espoused by both Mises and Hayek, and the ‘objectivist economics’ which is more widely accepted, even if its limitations are seldom explicitly recognized.  In the logic of choice, choosing becomes a subjective experience.  The alternatives for choice as well as the evaluations placed upon these exist only in the mind of the decision-maker.  Cost, which is the obstacle to choice, is purely subjective and this consists in the chooser’s evaluation of the alternative that must be sacrificed in order to attain that which is selected.

(The article from which this quotation is taken was written in the same year that Jim published his remarkable book on the subjective nature of cost, Cost and Choice.)

Were he still alive, Jim would today – October 3rd – celebrate his 97th birthday.


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