Value is What I Say it is

by Joakim Book
The American Institute for Economic Research

As a profession centered around choice, prices, production, information and values, economics is not always particularly good on those topics. As the saying goes, “An economist is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

With the onset of subjective value theory in the late 1800s this ceased to be true ? or began to be true, depending on your point of view. From then on, economists overwhelmingly accepted that value is in the eye of the beholder; we don’t really care what you value and instead we take your preferences as given. As the old phrase goes, “There’s no accounting for taste.” You like what you like.

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