The marginal theory of value was first broached in the 1870s, and it revolutionised economics. An earlier theory holds that the value of an item is a reflection of the work and resources devoted to making it, or the cost-of-production theory of value. Some economists, particularly many classical economists still believe this. Most Marxist economists also accept a version of the earlier theory, the labor theory of value.
Neo-classical economists accepted the marginal utility explanation for value and grafted this insight on to classical economics. Although the factors of production were still thought to be important, customer demand and the marginal benefits that they would obtain from a good is seen as the driver of the whole process and the ultimate source of economic value.
The Austrian School accepted marginalism more completely. They made a clear break from the factor input theories of value. They used marginal utility as a starting point in breaking away from the stress that other economic schools put on analysis of economic data. The Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk gave probably the most memorable description of the marginal theory of value, one often used by economics textbooks. Loosely translated it is: