There are more scholars teaching and actively engaged in research associated with the Austrian School of Economics now than at any other time in its history. However…
There are more scholars teaching and actively engaged in research associated with the Austrian School of Economics now than at any other time in its history. However, there is still something seriously wrong within the Austrian School and changes must be made both individually and collectively. In this piece, the author first discusses scientific progress with an emphasis on the individual behavior that is required to contribute to science, and the horizontal relationships that are required for the spread of ideas within a scientific community. Next, the author discusses the example of the Austrian school from 1950 to today in terms of these horizontal relationships within the profession and, in particular, in comparison with other mainline contributors during the same time period. The author then will address the multiplicity of horizontal relationships that might be explored as alternative discourse communities in the contemporary intellectual landscape. Lastly, the author concludes that the Austrian School of Economics must cultivate an explicit awareness of plausible, intrinsically interesting, and creative research agendas, and must therefore regard their work as a productive input into the ongoing research production of others within the broader community of economists and political economists.
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the contributions of the Austrian school of economics, with specific emphasis on post-WWII developments. We provide a brief…
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the contributions of the Austrian school of economics, with specific emphasis on post-WWII developments. We provide a brief history and overview of the original theorists of the Austrian school in order to set the stage for the subsequent development of their ideas by Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. In discussing the main ideas of Mises and Hayek, we focus on how their work provided the foundations for the modern Austrian school, which included Ludwig Lachmann, Murray Rothbard and Israel Kirzner. These scholars contributed to the Austrian revival in the 1960s and 1970s, which, in turn, set the stage for the emergence of the contemporary Austrian school in the 1980s. We review the contemporary development of the Austrian school and, in doing so, discuss the tensions, alternative paths, and the promising future of Austrian economics.
We argue that the future of Austrian political economy rests on the study of how institutional entrepreneurs discover and implement alternative institutional arrangements conducive to economic growth. This requires a dual level of analysis in spontaneous order studies. How such institutional arrangements manifest themselves is ultimately an empirical question. As a progressive research program, Austrian political economy will entail cross-fertilization with other empirical branches of political economy that illustrate its own central theoretical contributions to political economy, namely economic calculation, entrepreneurship, and spontaneous order. Accordingly, we argue that such cross-fertilization with the work of Ronald Coase and Elinor Ostrom will further expound the institutional counterpart of “rivalry” in the market process, namely polycentricism and its empirical manifestation. Understanding the distinct relationship between rivalry and polycentricism will provide the central theoretical underpinning of institutional evolution.
Purpose – To recognize the comments made by Horwitz (2010) and Koppl (2010) in their attempts to reply to D'Amico and Boettke (forthcoming), “Making Sense out of The…
Purpose – To recognize the comments made by Horwitz (2010) and Koppl (2010) in their attempts to reply to D'Amico and Boettke (forthcoming), “Making Sense out of The Sensory Order.” Furthermore, this paper hopes to explain what role D'Amico and Boettke do see for cognitive neuroscience in the study of Austrian economics.
Methodology/approach – Some brief summary comments are presented about Horwitz (2010) and Koppl (2010). Then a general framework of individual learning and its effects upon social institutions and economic processes is described by referring to Cowan and Rizzo (1996) and Denzau and North (1994).
Findings – Hayek was a political economist first and foremost. Whatever the status of his research in theoretical psychology attains, it does not change the fact that we as economists would do well (especially young economists) to focus on his substantive contributions to economics and political economy.
Research limitations/implications – Though space and time constraints did not afford this at present, further research would benefit from an intensive survey of the empirical findings available in the neuroscience and neuroeconomics literatures. How do such findings map onto the proposed frameworks of Hayekian economics provided by Koppl compared to D'Amico and Boettke.
Originality/value of paper – This paper takes notice of the historical linkage between Cowan and Rizzo's (1996) cognitive model of individual learning within the broader tradition of subjectivist/Hayekian/Austrian economics.
This chapter argues that if Austrian economics is to attain the influence, impact, and esteem enjoyed by comparable traditions, it cannot continue to produce research that only and always reaches free market conclusions. While the foundational principles of Austrian economics are incompatible with socialism, this does not settle every policy question in favor of laissez-faire. Factors such as historical circumstances and the particularities of local contexts should lead Austrians to take seriously some arguments in favor of government intervention. Freed from its ideological shackles, Austrian economics can provide a powerful toolkit for positive, scientific research addressing the most important questions in contemporary political economy.