Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 51: Friedrich von Wieser (1851–1926)
Friedrich von Wieser was born 10 July 1851 in Vienna. His father Leopold von Wieser was a high-ranked civil servant in the Ministry of War. Owing to his merits in the war of 1859 against Italy, Leopold von Wieser was ennobled. Later, he became Vice-President of the Court of Audit. His sons Hyacinth and Friedrich inherited Leopold von Wieser’s inclinations towards the fine arts. While Hyacinth gained some reputation as a painter, Friedrich is said to have been among the first to recognize the importance of the composer Hugo Wolf. Friedrich attended the elite Schottengymnasium where Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (who was to become his friend and brother-in-law) was his classmate. In 1868 Wieser and Böhm enrolled in the Law Faculty of Vienna University. As a part of the curriculum in legal studies, some education in economics was on offer at this academic institution. Both young men entered the civil service and, in 1875, took a two-year leave in order to continue their economic studies with some of the most prominent German professors in the field, Karl Knies, Bruno Hildebrand and Wilhelm Roscher. Wieser passed his habilitation (with Menger) in economics in 1883 and was appointed associate professor at the University of Prague in 1884 (full professor 1889). He succeeded Menger in the chair of economic theory at Vienna University in 1903. Wieser was the most influential teacher among the first generation of the Austrian School: Schumpeter, Mises and Hayek were his students. He became a member of the...
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