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Government Regulation of Behaviour: In Public Insurance Systems

The Dynamics of Intervention: Regulation and Redistribution in the Mixed Economy

ISBN: 978-0-76231-053-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-237-5

ISSN: 1529-2134

Publication date: 1 January 2004


In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek argued against planned economies that “the close interdependence of all economic phenomena makes it difficult to stop planning just where we wish…once the free working of the market is impeded beyond a certain degree, the planner will be forced to extend his controls till they become all-comprehensive” (Hayek, 1944, p. 79). According to Hayek, and especially Mises, there exists no stable condition in-between laissez faire capitalism and the planned economy. Once politicians engaged in acts of interventionism further interventions would successively lead them towards a condition where the state fully planned and controlled the economy and civil society. According to Austrians, ‘interventionism’ thus represented an unstable and self-reinforcing condition (Burton, 1984, p. 110). In John Gray's words “whenever an interventionist policy…fails to achieve the desires result, the practical and theoretical response of the interventionist ideologue is to demand an extension of the policy to new fields…interventionist policies will always interpret the failure of any such policy, not as a reason in favour of its abandonment, but rather as one supporting its wider application”(Gray, 1984, p. 32).


Höijer, R. (2004), "Government Regulation of Behaviour: In Public Insurance Systems", Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (Ed.) The Dynamics of Intervention: Regulation and Redistribution in the Mixed Economy (Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 377-397.



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