"Or think about the economics rap video of Keynes versus Hayek everyone had fun with. Never mind that back in the 30s nobody except Hayek would have considered his views a serious rival to those of Keynes; the real shock should be, what happened to Friedman?"Jonathan doesn't like this claim, and my prior has been to disagree with it too... but...
The more I think about it the idea that the Keynes/Hayek rivalry was a major rivalry seems to come from two sources: (1.) the claims of lots Austrians in the last quarter of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, and (2.) John Hicks towards the end of his life.
What I am not aware of (maybe it's out there) is John Hicks saying in the 1930s how important Hayek's view was.
Jonathan writes: "Otherwise, Keynes wouldn't have drafted Sraffa into his debate with Hayek, and Hayek wouldn't have received so much attention from Kaldor, Hicks, Knight, Pigou, et cetera (yes, the list does go on)."
I don't know if this quite does it. You'd think if it was that critical an opponent Keynes would have done the job himself. He did write a review of a Federal Reserve document in the same issue of the Economic Journal and he wrote in it often about topics that consumed him. Why is it always said that because Keynes thought Hayek was important to respond to that he assigned the task to Sraffa? Sraffa had the experience talking about Hayek's theory over lunch with Keynes and Wittgenstein. Perhaps Keynes asked him because he knew they were on the same page and he didn't think it was worth his own time to deal with.
This is all just an open question. Obviously Hayek was a good economist that people respected. But I didn't realize until reading Jonathan's post how much I just took for granted that Hayek's contribution was considered important at the time rather than simply being dressed up as such after the fact.
Is there any evidence of this that:
1. Doesn't come from a Hayek booster?, and
2. Doesn't come several decades later?
Did anyone associated with Cambridge in the 30s make the sorts of assertions about Hayek's importance that Hicks was to later?
I feel like we invent a lot of these stories after the fact and I'm just curious if we have a good reason to.