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Ludwig von Mises, the eminence of the Austrian School of Economics, may be best known for his part in a debate that raged during the early part of the 20th Century about the possibility of successful economic coordination under socialism. Mises argued forcefully that state ownership of the means of production makes the best assignment of capital goods impossible, due to the absence of a market price system. Mises’s student, Hayek, refined Mises’s insights and both were vindicated by history.
Born in Lemberg, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now L’vov, Ukraine), Mises went to the University of Vienna in 1900 and there came under the tutelage of Eugen von Böhm- Bawerk, who inducted Mises into the Austrian School. Mises’s first major work, A Theory of Money and Credit, showed, against the tide of current opionion, that money should be understood on the same terms as the rest of economic systems.
In 1913, Mises became an unpaid professor at the University of Vienna, and held a famous, high-flying seminar there, while he made his living at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Never fully appreciated in academic Vienna, and in flight from Nazi Austria, Mises moved to Geneva in 1934, where he completed his magnum opus, Human Action, which lays out a comprehensive economic theory based on what Mises took to be self-evident, a priori axioms of human behavior
Full Bio: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Mises.html
Human Action: http://mises.org/books/humanaction.pdf
Human Action Study Guide: http://mises.org/books/humanactionstudy.pdf