The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics (Oxford Handbooks)

The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics (Oxford Handbooks)

Language: English

Pages: 832

ISBN: 0199811768

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Austrian School of Economics is an intellectual tradition in economics and political economy dating back to Carl Menger in the late-19th century. Menger stressed the subjective nature of value in the individual decision calculus. Individual choices are indeed made on the margin, but the evaluations of rank ordering of ends sought in the act of choice are subjective to individual chooser. For Menger, the economic calculus was about scarce means being deployed to pursue an individual's highest valued ends. The act of choice is guided by subjective assessments of the individual, and is open ended as the individual is constantly discovering what ends to pursue, and learning the most effective way to use the means available to satisfy those ends. This school of economic thinking spread outside of Austria to the rest of Europe and the United States in the early-20th century and continued to develop and gain followers, establishing itself as a major stream of heterodox economics.

The Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics provides an overview of this school and its theories. The various contributions discussed in this book all reflect a tension between the Austrian School's orthodox argumentative structure (rational choice and invisible hand) and its addressing of a heterodox problem situations (uncertainty, differential knowledge, ceaseless change). The Austrian economists from the founders to today seek to derive the invisible hand theorem from the rational choice postulate via institutional analysis in a persistent and consistent manner. Scholars and students working in the field of History of Economic Thought, those following heterodox approaches, and those both familiar with the Austrian School or looking to learn more will find much to learn in this comprehensive volume.

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[196411967). Complex phenomena are those whose properties are the result of interactions among large numbers of constituent elements. Scientific understanding of complex phenomena cannot generate precise estimates of given variables of interest but only "explanations of the principle" (Hayek 1952, 182-184) by which the phenomena are constituted that result in very rough "pattern predictions" (Hayek [196411967, 27-28). This argument tilts against the leap from social science to social engineering.

the Social Sciences Are What People Believe and Think:' In Handbook on Contemporary Austrian Economics, edited by Peter J. Boettke, 30-40. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. Streissler, Erich. 1972. "To What Extent Was the Austrian School Marginalist?" History of Political Economy 4: 426-441. Vaughn, Karen. 1994. Austrian Economics in America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wagner, Richard E. 2010. Mind, Society, and Human Action. London and New York: Routledge. Weintraub, E. R. 1993. General

Blaug explains that the classical model is not "a species of general equilibrium theory except in the innocuous sense of an awareness that 'everything depends on everything else'" (1987, 443). Frank Machovec states that "the classical conception of competition, with few exceptions, was moulded 74 MICROECONOMICS by a sense of the market as a process of discovery, not by some embryonic form of modern-day equilibrium theory" (1995, 136). Following McNulty (1967), we see two important strains of

condition, which we have labeled subjective, would be met in the case of consumers by permitting them to maximize their utility in a fully competitive market of consumer goods and services. Nevertheless, producers would no longer be allowed to act to maximize profits, but instead, they would be subject to two rules; the central planning bureau would coercively impose these rules and monitor producers' compliance with them. The two rules are designed to simulate the results of producers'

greater degree of complexity than and a distinctive type of complexity from those forms of coordination mechanisms common amid nonhuman processes. In particular, human languages, legal and political rules, commonly accepted moral norms of conduct, and decentralized economic decision-making through the advanced division of labor and market price signals are all uniquely human institutions considerably more complex than any of the behavioral patterns found in nonhuman systems. This section provides

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