The Driving Force of the Market: Essays in Austrian Economics

The Driving Force of the Market: Essays in Austrian Economics

The Driving Force of the Market: Essays in Austrian Economics

The Driving Force of the Market: Essays in Austrian Economics

Excerpt

As the twentieth century draws to a close, the Austrian tradition in economics has, it appears, begun to attract a significantly increased volume of attention. Long thought to be a relic of a once-prominent school that had been swept from the professional stage soon after the end of the first third of the century, Austrian economics has recently enjoyed something of a renaissance. Younger economists are discovering validity in Austrian critiques of mainstream, late-twentieth-century economics; they are finding many of the positive Austrian insights to be of substantial help in achieving economic understanding. This volume collects a bundle of papers written during the past decade, which seek either to explicate the Austrian perspective to economists not yet familiar with it, or to use this perspective substantively to pursue our task of expanding and deepening economic understanding. In particular this writer has consistently sought in these papers to deploy the entrepreneurial emphasis of Austrian economics to illuminate key theoretical issues both in positive and in normative economics.

Several papers in this volume focus specifically on the work of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. This is no accident. Each of these Austrian economists had a research and publishing career covering almost seven decades in this century. Most of these years were years in which Mises and Hayek found themselves treated virtually as intellectual outcasts offering unfashionable, indeed, old-fashioned, doctrines, based on a thoroughly outmoded methodology. Modern Austrian economists understand, however, that some of the published work of Mises and of Hayek during the mid-century decades were, while certainly consistent with earlier Austrian (and broadly neoclassical) economics, in fact pathbreaking theoretical contributions which significantly deepened and extended the Austrian economic tradition—in ways which decisively challenged the new

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