The Mises Institute has distributed a list of 25 questions which purport to sort out Austrians, Keynesians, monetarists and Marxists. Apparently, in their world view, axiomatic economists do not exist. Many people have taken this test and almost all of them have been told that they are 80 to 90% Austrian. This would imply either that Austrianism is far more prevalent in society than hitherto suspected, or that the test takers were hoodwinked.
Actually, it is the latter. The Mises Institute is conflating Austrianism with libertarianism. Most of their questions are about jurisprudence, not economics, and are really just asking if one is libertarian. The 80 to 90% represents the prevalence of libertarianism in society, or at least among people who visit their site. The purpose of the Mises Institute’s test is to convince libertarians that there is no other economic theory compatible with their beliefs, not to convert mainstream or Marxist economists, who are assumed to be irredeemable.
In contrast to the Mises Institute, my test asks only theoretical, not ideological, questions. I assume that everybody taking it is more or less supportive of capitalism and the free market. (If you are a Marxist, you might want to read my Critique of Montagne rather than take this test.) I intend to sort out followers of the axiomatic, Austrian and mainstream schools of economic thought. By “mainstream” I mean concepts that are widely taught in the universities, not just Keynesianism. Austrians tend to assume that the two terms are synonymous, which is not true.
In the following questions, when I ask which quotation you agree with, you may also interpret this as, which is most useful. For instance, if you are an Austrian and I define a term widely used by mainstream economists, I am not asking if you agree with the definition, in the sense that you feel that it is accurate, but if you agree that the concept is a productive one. If you agree with more than one quotation, choose the quotation that is more definitive of your viewpoint. In cases where axiomatic economics extends, but does not contradict, mainstream economics, I myself supplied the quotations representative of both the mainstream and the axiomatic position.
You may only take this quiz once a day.
Click here for the short version, 6 questions only.