Just Don’t Call Him an “Austrian”

George Selgin on how he became an economics and other matters.  Quotable:

After college I first tried to combine my main interests by working toward a degree in marine resource economics at the University of Rhode Island. The program turned out to be a disappointment to me – neither fish nor free-markets, you might say; just one Hamiltonian equation after another.  To keep my brain from rotting I decided to spend my spare time reading up on economic subjects I hadn’t had a chance to study in college. I started with monetary economics simply because I wanted to get what seemed to me the hardest subjects out of the way first. I read everything I could get my hands on, particularly concerning inflation (which was the big issue back then). Some of the books were very bad indeed; others less so. But then I read Henry Hazlitt’s The Inflation Problem and How to Solve It, and the scales fell from my eyes! Next came Mises’ Theory of Money and Credit, which in turn led to my reading Hayek’s Denationalisation of Money. That hooked me.

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The answers to many of the pressing social questions of our time are to be found in the recognition of principles that lie outside the scope of technical economics or any other single discipline. — F. A. Hayek

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