Economist Craig Newmark suggests that the discipline of economics recommends itself over other social sciences on the basis of its better “track record”.
But let’s take a closer look. What we find is that much of the best economics has been work done by economists attempting to overcome the massively influential fallacies of other economists: Adam Smith taking on merchantilist economists; Keynes taking on the “Treasury” economists & A.C. Pigou; Friedman taking on the Keynesian economists; Bohm-Bawerk taking on the Marxist economists.
You get the idea.
The best economists are constantly savings us from .. the economists. And things are no different with the economics of Hayek.
Much of Hayek’s best work was exactly the same sort of thing. Hayek taking on socialist economists — leading to his great papers on the division of knowledge and the price signaling function of relative prices. Hayek taking on the “perfectly competitive market” economists and the formal equilibrium economists — leading to his great papers on competition as a discovery process. Hayek taking on the Federal Reserve economists, Fisher, Foster & Catchings, Keynes, and the rest on price stability, monetary and business cycle theory — leading to his many books and papers on the microeconomics of production and consumption coordination across time — as well as those on the very foundations of economic science.
This is the stuff for which Hayek won the Nobel Prize. And at the end of his career Hayek saw a profession that still “didn’t get it” — and which was still making terrible mess of things (Hayek’s words).