Teaching Austrian Economics Through Fiction

A Summary & Analysis of Time Will Run Back by Henry Hazlitt





economics, education, fiction, capitalism, free markets


While many may be familiar with Henry Hazlitt through his non-fiction writing on Austrian economics, he also published a lesser-known and extremely underappreciated fictional story, Time Will Run Back. Despite the fact that it was the only work of fiction that he ever wrote, it is an absolute Austrian masterpiece that incorporates an extensive amount of Socratic dialogue to not only adeptly guide the reader through Mises’ economic calculation problem but also to teach many of the economic principles associated with it. The main theme of the book is that “if capitalism did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it — and its discovery would be rightly regarded as one of the great triumphs of the human mind” (Hazlitt, 1993, p. 82). This paper reviews the story from an Austrian perspective and discusses some of the creative ways that it manages to teach various economic principles referenced throughout the work.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Anthony Cesario, Loyola University New Orleans, USA

Graduated with an undergraduate degree in 2022 from Loyola University, New Orleans studying economics with Dr. WalterBlock along with other brilliant professors and will be pursuing a PhD in economics at Texas Tech University starting in2023. As a student and scholar, he has attended numerous Mises Institute events, including the 2021 and 2022 AustrianEconomics Research Conferences, Mises University in 2021 and 2021, the 2022 Rothbard Graduate Seminar, as well as acouple of Supporters’ Summits. He currently works as a research assistant for Dr. Block and recently spent the summeras a 2022 Summer Research Fellow at the Mises Institute, where he focused on the economic consequences of interferingwith a firm’s structure. In addition to organizational economics, he is also interested in labor economics, developmentaleconomics, political theory, and philosophy


HAYEK, Friedrich. The road to serfdom. United Kingdom: Routledge, 1944.

HAZLITT, Henry. Economics in one lesson. New York City, NY: Harper, 1946.

HAZLITT, Henry. Time will run back. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1951.

HAZLITT, Henry. The failure of the new economics. New York City, NY: Van Nostrand, 1959. Disponível em: https://cdn.mises.org/Failure%20of%20the%20New%20Economics_5.pdf Acesso em: 10 jul.2022.

HAZLITT, Henry. The conquest of poverty. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1973.

HAZLITT, Henry. The wisdom of Henry Hazlitt. Irvington, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, 1993.

MENGER, Carl. Principles of economics. Auburn: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007. Disponível em: https://cdn.mises.org/principles_of_economics.pdf Acesso em: 10 jul. 2022. [1871]

MISES, Ludwig Von. Economic calculation in the socialist commonwealth. Disponível em: https://mises.org/library/economic-calculation-socialist-commonwealth/html Acesso em: 10 jul. 2022. [1920]

MISES, Ludwig Von. Human action. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1949. Disponível em: https://mises.org/files/human-actionpdf-0 Acesso em: 10 jul. 2022.

ROTHBARD, Murray. Man, economy, and state. New York City, NY: David Van Nostrand, 1962.

ROTHBARD, Murray. What has government done to our money? Disponível em: https://mises.org/library/what-has-government-done-our-money Acesso em: 10 jul. 2022. [1963]

SMITH, Adam. The wealth of nations. 5. ed. New York: Bantam Book, 2003. [1776]




How to Cite

Cesario A. Teaching Austrian Economics Through Fiction: A Summary & Analysis of Time Will Run Back by Henry Hazlitt . MisesJournal [Internet]. 2022 Nov. 3 [cited 2023 Dec. 8];10. Available from: https://www.revistamises.org.br/misesjournal/article/view/1458



Essays & Insights