Israel Kirzner

Israel Kirzner

Israel Meir Kirzner (Yisroel Mayer Kirzner) (born February 13, 1930) is a leading economist in the Austrian School.


Early life

The son of a well-known rabbi and Talmudist, Kirzner was born in London, England and came to the United States via South Africa.


After studying with the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1947-48 and with the University of London External Programme in 1950-51, Kirzner received his B.A. summa cum laude from Brooklyn College in 1954, an MBA in 1955 and Ph.D. from New York University in 1957 (studying under Ludwig von Mises).


Kirzner's major work is in the economics of knowledge and entrepreneurship and the ethics of markets. He is emeritus professor of economics at New York University, and he is a leading authority on Ludwig von Mises' thinking and methodology in economics. Kirzner's research on entrepreneurship economics is also widely recognized.[1] In 2006, Kirzner received the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research[2] "[f]or developing the economic theory emphasizing the importance of the entrepreneur for economic growth and the functioning of the capitalist process."[3]


Some of his works on economics include:

  • "Entrepreneurial Discovery and The Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature. (March 1997)
  • The Meaning of Market Process, (Routledge 1992)
  • Discovery, Capitalism and Distributive Justice, (Basil Blackwell 1989)
  • Discovery and the Capitalist Process, (Chicago, 1985)
  • The Economic Point of View: An Essay in the History of Economic Thought, (Kansas City: Sheed and Ward, Inc., 1976;
  • Perception, Opportunity and Profit: Studies in the Theory of Entrepreneurship, (Chicago, 1973)
  • Competition and Entrepreneurship, (Chicago 1973), ISBN 0-226-43776-0.
  • An Essay on Capital, (A.M. Kelley, 1966)
  • Market Theory and the Price System, (Van Nostrand, 1963)

Liberty Fund is currently publishing Israel Kizner's Collected Works in ten volumes under the supervision of Peter Boettke and Frederic Sautet. The first volume, The Economic Point of View, came out in December 2009. The second volume, Market Theory and the Price System, is scheduled to come out in May 2011.

Orthodox Judaism expert

Kirzner is also an ordained Haredi rabbi and Talmud scholar, and serves as the rabbi of the congregation once headed by his father in Brooklyn, New York. He is one of the most famous disciples of Rabbi Isaac Hutner, the late dean of the Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, where he studied for many years during the same years he obtained his academic training. Kirzner is an authority on Hutner's writings and is one of the few official editors of all sources that Hutner quotes.