David Beckworth and Scott Sumner — citing Hayek, Selgin, Horwitz, and White — claim the mantle of Friedrich Hayek in making their case for NGDP targeting, quantitative easing, and a monetary disequilibrium understanding of the current economic pathology.

And Beckworth explicitly cites Hayek as among those who informed and inspired his own understanding of monetary theory and macroeconomic phenomena — and among NGDP targeting fans, Beckworth is joined by David Glasner, Bill Woosley, and several others who also list Hayek as an influence.

If Hayek is to be counted an “Austrian”, then by theory, by citations, by genetic history, and by all other rights those advocating Hayekian monetary views on the subject of NGDP targeting and quantitative easing have as much claim to the “Austrian” label as those, such as Robert Murphy, who are making arguments on the other side.

And Paul Krugman knows all this, because he’s read Beckworth’s article and he’s a regular reader of Scott Sumner’s blog.

So, either Krugman is deliberately misleading his readers by saying that the views of Robert Murphy are “Austrian” while the views of those citing Hayek are not.  Or he’s just a very poor reader.  Evidence begins to pile up that it’s either one or the other, because Krugman’s writings are now dominated by such stuff.

UPDATE:  Bill Woolsey gives a clear explication of the dispute between Beckworth and Murphy on the problem of monetary disequilibrium, labeling the Beckworth/Hayek/Horwitz/Sumner position on monetary equilibrium “quasi-monetarism”, a rather inelegant and misleading name.

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Any attempt to control prices or quantities of particular commodities deprives competition of its power of bringing about an effective co-ordination of individual efforts, because price changes then cease to register all the relevant changes in circumstances and no longer provide a reliable guide for individual’s actions. — F. A. Hayek

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