Dr. Jeffrey M. Herbener, professor and chair of the Department of Economics & Sociology at Grove City College, won the 2019 Lawrence W. Fertig prize in Austrian Economics.
It is the second time in three years that Herbener has won the prestigious honor, which recognizes the work of economists who best advance economic science in the Austrian tradition, from the Mises Institute.
Herbener captured the 2019 prize – and its $1,500 award – for his chapter “Time and the Theory of Cost” in the book “Costs in Economics: Theory, History, and New Directions,” edited by Dr. Matthew McCaffrey. The book gives an Austrian school analysis of issues of interest to neoclassical economists and is an attempt at dialogue between the two schools of thought, according to Herbener.
“My chapter explains the implications of the actual passage of time as we experience it as human beings for the economic analysis of costs of production,” Herbener explained. “Neoclassical economists think of production costs done by fictitious economic agents in a model without the passage of actual time. The two implications I work out in the chapter are time preference – actual human persons prefer to obtain a given satisfaction from acting sooner instead of later – and uncertainty – actual human persons must use their own judgment in formulating predictions about the realizable result of their production in the future.”
Herbener took the Fertig prize in 2017 for his contribution to the article “Toward a Subjective Approach to Investment Appraisal in Light of Austrian Value Theory.”
“The Fertig prize is one of the highest annual honors that economists in the Misesian tradition can be awarded. To win it once is a high honor. To win it two times in three years, as Dr. Herbener has done, is unprecedented and just tremendous,” Dr. Shawn R. Ritenour, professor of Economics at the College, said. “I have always thought that Professor Herbener was the most underrated active Austrian economist, so it is gratifying to see him getting the recognition he deserves.”
In addition to his work at Grove City College, Herbener is a fellow for economic theory and policy with The Center for Vision & Values and assistant editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. His work has been published by The Free Market Review of Austrian Economics, Austrian Economics newsletter and the Journal of Libertarian Studies. Herbener received his B.S. in economics from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from Oklahoma University.
Grove City College is the world’s leading undergraduate institution for the study of Austrian economics, a school of thought that was promoted at the College by Hans Sennholz, a protégé of the dean of Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises who was named chair of the Department of Economics in 1956. Sennholz held the post for four decades and under his direction, thousands of students were introduced to the Austrian school. The College has been the permanent home of Mises’ papers since 1978 and the 20,000-page archive has been the source of four books of his previously unpublished manuscripts.
The prize is named for Lawrence W. Fertig, an American advertising executive and a libertarian journalist and economic commentator who served on the New York University board of trustees and was instrumental in supporting von Mises when the economist fled Europe to the United States during the rise of the Third Reich.