Anticipations, Uncertainty, and Dynamic Planning

Anticipations, Uncertainty, and Dynamic Planning

Anticipations, Uncertainty, and Dynamic Planning

Anticipations, Uncertainty, and Dynamic Planning

Excerpt

This essay presents a monographic summary of the theory of the business firm in a form adapted for use in the study of business fluctuations and more generally of "dynamic" problems. With this use in view, attention has been concentrated on the time elements of the firm's planning, with special emphasis on anticipations; the recent refinements of enterprise theory springing from the study of monopolistic competition, important as they are, have been allowed to fall into the background.

In a work of this sort it is much more important to be systematic and accurate than either to be "original" or to trace every thought back to its source. To conserve space and to avoid the complications that result from merging an argument on a subject with an annotated bibliography, the writer has limited himself to a very small number of bibliographical footnotes. But while it is hoped that this essay makes an appreciable new contribution through the analysis of capital-rationing and of flexibility as the law of response to uncertainty, the writer is not aiming to conceal either from himself or from the reader the fact that only a small fraction of the basic ideas employed are in any sense original.

Professors F. W. Taussig, Irving Fisher, F. A. von Hayek, F. H. Knight, Henry Schultz, Jacob Viner, and J. R. Hicks provided through their writings and teaching the background from which this essay springs and in addition did much at various stages from 1931 to the present time to guide the writer's thinking on the problem. The writer is also indebted for suggestions in correspondence and discussion, for criticism of manuscripts and opportunity to examine manuscripts, to K. E. Boulding, R. Calkins, Sune Carlson, V. Edelberg, M. Friedman, N. Kaldor, O. Lange, E.Lindahl . . .

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