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The Conjoint Quest for a Liberal Positive Program: “Old Chicago,” Freiburg, and Hayek

  • Ekkehard A. Köhler
  • Stefan Kolev
Part of the Jepson Studies in Leadership book series (JSL)

Abstract

The latest financial and economic crisis has undoubtedly reawakened public and academic interest for the scholarly discourse on economics of the 1930s. Large think tanks foster a reenactment of John Maynard Keynes or Friedrich August von Hayek with various methods and intentions, while scholars invite their audience to rediscuss economic ideas of the Great Depression and its subsequent period. One of these scholars is James M. Buchanan, who has highlighted the importance of the “Old Chicago” School (and sharply contrasted it from the “New Chicago” School’s tenets); another is Viktor Vanberg, who has highlighted the importance of the Freiburg School of Economics. The Chicago School and the Freiburg School have remarkably influenced the design of post-war economic orders as well as scholarly discourse in economics in the United States and Germany.

Keywords

Monetary Policy Economic Order Chicago School Free Society Natural Monopoly 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    The three authors, however, differ with regard to which extent they treat individuals as sovereigns and ultimate addressees of their proposals for a free society. By the end of the 1940s, they nevertheless share, as “most economists,” “basic long-run objectives” such as “political freedom, economic efficiency, and substantial equality of economic power”—and that “all three objectives can best be realized by relying, as far as possible, on a market mechanism within a ‘competitive order,’” as stated by Friedman in a very early paper of his, presented in September 1947 to the Econometric Society, only a few months after Friedman’s attending the first MPS meeting. It is noteworthy that here Friedman consistently uses the language of “Old Chicago” when it comes to the terms “economic power” and “competitive order,” and refers to Simons’s articles on different topics. Milton Friedman, “A Monetary and Fiscal Framework for Economic Stability,” The American Economic Review 38, no. 3 (June 1948): 246.Google Scholar
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    Henry C. Simons was born in Virden, Illinois in 1899. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1920, and began teaching immediately after graduation at the University of Iowa. In 1927 he moved to the University of Chicago, where he remained for the rest of his life. He died at the early age of 47, in 1946. Simons was surrounded by an unusually brilliant set of colleagues—Jacob Viner (1882–1970), Frank Knight (1885–1972), Henry Schultz (1893–1938), and Paul Douglas (1892–1976). (See Mark Blaug, “Henry Simons,” in Pioneers in Economics: Frank Knight (1885–1972), Henry Simons (1899–1946), Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950), vol. 37, ed. Mark Blaug (Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1992), xi.Google Scholar
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    Walter Eucken, Grundsätze der Wirtschaftspolitik, 7th ed. (Tübingen: MohrSiebeck, [1952] 2004), 26–27.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Sandra J. Peart and David M. Levy 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ekkehard A. Köhler
  • Stefan Kolev

There are no affiliations available

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