Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Acquisitions

Handbook on Contemporary Austrian Economics, edited by Peter Boettke

The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, edited by Peter Boettke

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, special issue on the work of James Buchanan

The Elgar Companion looks especially good, with a lot of thorough but short treatments of some important topics.

I'm receiving them from Pete as a prize for winning this little competition he stage on the significance of Luigi Einaudi for the Austrian school (see the comment section for other submissions - although I'm sure he was emailed many too). This was the response I emailed him:

"A few people on the blog are mentioning his opposition to socialism and some views on money, but I'm not sure that's the heart of it. Keynes was vocally opposed to socialism, after all, and I don't think you would count him as an important contributor to the Austrian tradition. And certainly no one in the Austrian tradition relies on Einaudi for a monetary theory or a business cycle theory I would say this:

"Einaudi offered the perspective of a policymaker to the Austrian community. Rothbard notes the influence of Einaudi's opposition to government economists practicing a purely positive science, providing the analytically relevant insight on whatever politicians want to accomplish. He argued economists ought to do economics as a normative endeavor, not because economics couldn't be "value-free", but because economists couldn't abdicate their responsibility to positively influence policy. Einaudi also criticized Keynes's The End of Laissez-Faire for ignoring the possibility that laissez-faire was still a good rule of thumb in an age of active government: a 1926 version of “markets fail – use markets”."


  1. Congratulations on winning the competition and receiving these awards! But when will your Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization article appear?

  2. We got an R&R. My Urban co-authors are working on it over break, and I imagine I will too. Finals end the 19th, and I imagine I'll be spending every day between then and leaving for New Mexico working full time on that sort of Urban Institute stuff.

  3. You wrote that? It sounds like a member of the Austrian School wrote that.

    It seems Paul Krugman is right that Keynesians know their opposition better than their opposition knows Keynesians.

  4. Preteek, I don't know that that is always true. Most of the professional economists within the Austrian camp did go to mainstream schools and were taught a good deal of Keynesianism, I am sure. I would not say that this could be said the other way around.

    Daniel does make great efforts to understand the Austrian school, which is one of the reasons that I respect him. While I know that he has read some Hayek, I am not sure whether he has read the treatises by Mises and Rothbard (HA and/or MES). I imagine that this has more to do with his schedule and work, but I do think that it would be a place to start for somebody who shows an inquisitive interest.

    As I have said before, I learn far more from those that I disagree with than from those that I agree with. The reason that I say this is that when I read those that I agree with, what I am reading typically only reinforces what I already know. However, if you pay attention to the other side, it challenges your own beliefs and you must then look at the merits of your own beliefs against those of the other side. It forces you to use your own judgement and knowledge to compare and contrast two different ideas and then to make a decision upon which is correct; sometimes the other side makes good points that you then adopt. This is what I believe to be at the heart of learning and knowledge-- using critical judgement and then deciding-- not merely memorizing what you agree with through reinforcement.

    I won't always agree with Daniel (I'll more than likely disagree), but he "gets it", I think.

  5. @Daniel Kuehn: Pardon my ignorance, but what does R&R stand for? How long does your winter break last?

  6. Revise and resubmit. I'm not sure exactly how long it lasts - probably about as long as yours.

  7. Mine lasts about two to three weeks, IIRC. BTW, I was wondering - if you finish reading any of Dr. Brady's works that I've sent to you, will you make a comment about it on this blog?

    Finally, I hope your revised paper makes it into the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization!


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