The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 1–19

Inputs and institutions as conservative elements


DOI: 10.1007/s11138-008-0048-2

Cite this article as:
Carden, A. Rev Austrian Econ (2009) 22: 1. doi:10.1007/s11138-008-0048-2


Ludwig von Mises argued that capital goods were “conservative elements” that constrain future production decisions. Similarly, social capital and institutions also constrain future production decisions. These insights are applied to the institutional transformation of the post-Reconstruction American South. It is argued that the structure of social capital that developed in the South was inappropriate to the formal institutions that emerged as a result of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The tensions between institutions and social capital are examined in the context of racist lynching.


US South Racism Lynching Social capital Institutions 

JEL codes

B53 N11 N91 O18 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessRhodes CollegeMemphisUSA

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