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Pete Boettke’s “What Is Still Wrong with the Austrian School of Economics?” sketches a program for Austrian economics based on a Kuhnesque analysis of scientific communities. His core recommendations focus on what we might call the Uptake and Diffusion dimensions of the scientific enterprise. If taken as a core commitment, they entail an Integrationist program, a concomitant of which is a reduction in the unique insights of the Austrian approach and, so, an overall reduction of the diversity of perspectives in political economy and moral sciences. A cost of this program is to decrease the diversity of perspectives in economics, which in turn decreases the ability of Republic of Economic Science to explore and solve a wider variety of problems. The author presents the “Fundamental Diversity Dilemma,” according to which there is a trade-off between uptake/plausibility and diversity: as we increase uptake and plausibility, we decrease diversity. The author concludes with a defense of the role of heterodox research programs, and questioning the focus on a small set of metrics to indicate excellent and important research.
Over the past decade or two, the Hayek Studies industry has been in a period of significant growth. A whole variety of books about Hayek, both his life and his thought…
Over the past decade or two, the Hayek Studies industry has been in a period of significant growth. A whole variety of books about Hayek, both his life and his thought, have appeared, with each trying to differentiate its product sufficiently to make a mark on both scholarship and sales. Into this fairly crowded marketplace comes a volume edited by two political scientists, neither of whom is known for contributions to the Hayek literature. The volume grew out of a lecture series at Utah State University, and the group of scholars that they assembled is notable as well for not being a cast of the “usual Hayekian suspects,” nor exclusively economists. In fact, there is only one economist contributing to the volume, with a couple of philosophers and one historian, and the rest being political scientists. In addition, all the essays address the concept of “spontaneous order,” which is central to Hayek's intellectual framework. More specifically, each essay approaches that topic in light of its relationship to “liberalism” and “conservatism.” The result is a largely excellent set of papers that offer critical and constructive explorations of the idea of spontaneous order and its place in Hayek's thought and in understanding the social world.
The Austrian School of Economics, pioneered in the late nineteenth century by Menger and developed in the twentieth century by Mises and Hayek, is poised to make significant contributions to the methodology, analytics, and social philosophy of economics and political economy in the twenty-first century. But it can only do so if its practitioners accept responsibility to pursue the approach to its logical conclusions with confidence and absence of fear, and with an attitude of open inquiry, acceptance of their own fallibility, and a desire to track truth and offer social understanding. The reason the Austrian school is so well positioned to do this is because (1) it embraces its role as a human science, (2) it does not shy away from public engagement, (3) it takes a humble stance, (4) it seeks to be practical, and (5) there remains so much evolutionary potential to the ideas at the methodological, analytical, and social philosophical level that would challenge the conventional wisdom in economics, political science, sociology, history, law, business, and philosophy. The author explores these five tenants of Austrian economics as a response to the comments on his lead chapter “What Is Still Wrong with the Austrian School of Economics?”
Chapters 2–6 have dealt in turn with how Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore have been effective in curbing corruption, as manifested in their rankings…
Chapters 2–6 have dealt in turn with how Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore have been effective in curbing corruption, as manifested in their rankings and scores on the five international indicators of the perceived extent of corruption. In contrast, Chapter 7 focuses on India’s ineffective anti-corruption measures and identifies the lessons which India can learn from their success in fighting corruption. The aim of this concluding chapter is twofold: to describe and compare the different paths taken by these six countries in their battle against corruption; and to identify the lessons which other countries can learn from their experiences in combating corruption. However, as the policy contexts of these six countries differ significantly, it is necessary to begin by providing an analysis of their contextual constraints before proceeding to compare their anti-corruption strategies and identifying the relevant lessons for other countries.
The above quotations highlight the adverse consequences of corruption in many countries around the world today. Indeed, the research taboo on corruption, which Gunnar…
The above quotations highlight the adverse consequences of corruption in many countries around the world today. Indeed, the research taboo on corruption, which Gunnar Myrdal identified in 1968, no longer exists, and the silence on the “C” word (corruption) in the World Bank was broken by James Wolfensohn in his famous October 1996 speech, which focused on the negative consequences of the “cancer of corruption” on the World Bank's aid programs.