On fallibility and perfection: Boettke’s Hayek vs. mainline economics
Peter Boettke’s F.A. Hayek Economics, Political Economy, and Social Philosophy (Palgrave 2019) is a nuanced treatment that examines the historical context of Hayek’s work as well as its contemporary context. Boettke’s major argument is worth emphasizing at the outset: Hayek, he argues, is an epistemic institutionalist. To Boettke, I would add that economists moved away from a preoccupation with institutions earlier than Boettke allows. For Hayek, people are fallible but they learn within the context of various institutional arrangements. For the early neoclassical economists, by contrast, the theorists who know better have the authority to ensure that the inferiors optimize.
KeywordsFriedrich Hayek Tjalling Koopmans Alfred Marshall William Stanley Jevons Rutledge Vining Epistemic institutionalist Neoclassical economics Virginia political economy
JEL classificationsB13 B2 B31
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