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Ludwig Lachmann’s peculiar status within Austrian economics

Abstract

Lachmann occupies a strange position within modern Austrian economics. He is viewed as something of an outsider and his views are often regarded as outside the mainline of modern Austrian thought. But, on several key issues – especially subjectivism and institutions – Lachmann’s positions are the dominant positions within the school. This article argues that, with little fanfare but in several important respects, Austrian economics has moved in a decidedly Lachmannian direction.

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Notes

  1. I am also not ignoring the fact that there have been conferences dedicated to Lachmann’s legacy, including “The Legacy of Ludwig Lachmann” at the University of the Witwatersrand which gave occasion to this article.

  2. This borrows phrasing from Friedman ([1949] 1953, 489) who said with some regret that modern economists might “curtsy to Marshall” but they “walk with Walras.”

  3. While McCloskey does not substantively engage Lachmann, she does cite him a few times. See, for instance, McCloskey (2010, 304).

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Correspondence to Virgil Henry Storr.

Additional information

This article was delivered as a keynote address at The Third World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research Symposium on “The legacy of Ludwig Lachmann: interdisciplinary perspectives on institutions, agency and uncertainty,” Johannesburg, South Africa, April 2017. I would like to thank the participants at this conference for their useful questions and comments. The standard disclaimer remains.

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Storr, V.H. Ludwig Lachmann’s peculiar status within Austrian economics. Rev Austrian Econ 32, 63–75 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11138-017-0403-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11138-017-0403-2

Keywords

  • Lachmann
  • Subjectivism
  • Institutions