Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 467–500 | Cite as

Spontaneous economic order

  • Yong Tao
Regular Article


This paper provides attempts to formalize Hayek’s notion of spontaneous order within the framework of an Arrow-Debreu economy. Our study shows that, if a competitive economy is sufficiently fair and free, a spontaneous economic order will emerge in long-run competitive equilibria so that social members spontaneously occupy an unplanned distribution of income. Despite this, the spontaneous order may degenerate in the form of economic crises whenever an equilibrium economy approaches the extreme competition. Remarkably, such a theoretical framework of spontaneous order provides a bridge linking Austrian economics and neoclassical economics, where a truth begins to emerge: “Freedom promotes technological progress”.


General equilibrium Spontaneous order Rawls’ fairness Freedom Technological progress 

JEL classifications

D5 D63 B25 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Economics and ManagementSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

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