New papers on Hayek

Papers from the 2010 History of Economics conference (pdf):


Stefan Kolev, “Hayek as an Ordo-Liberal”:

Classically, Friedrich von Hayek’s oeuvre is subdivided into two parts: Hayek I as the cycle theorist, Hayek II as the social philosopher. The current paper sees this as inadequate: a threefold subdivision is necessary instead. Hayek II would be the ordo-liberal social philosopher of the late 1930s and 1940s, Hayek III the evolutionary social philosopher from the 1950s onward. Biographically, Hayek meets Walter Eucken as early as 1928 and in the following years visits Freiburg regularly on his travels between London and Vienna. This is precisely the time of inception of the Freiburg School. After an interruption of during the war, Hayek resumes his correspondence with Eucken and invites him to the founding meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society. There Hayek holds an address with the title “Free enterprise and Competitive Order”, which in the wording is paradigmatic for the ordo-liberal Hayek II: competitive order (Wettbewerbsordnung) is the normative ideal of Eucken and his Freiburg School for an efficient and humane order. The core of Hayek’s ordo-liberal period is his adoption of the Freiburg dichotomy “rules vs. moves of the game”. As early as 1935 in the socialist calculation editorship, Hayek articulates the idea that planning is admissible for the framework of the economy (rules of the game), but not for the actions of individuals (moves of the game). Thus he rejects laissez-faire as a dogma not telling anything about the necessity to plan the framework of the economy and society, a tenet which he repeats in the following years, most well-known from the “Road to Serfdom”. The rules of the game are to be set by economic policy. This is often misunderstood from authors in the Misesian tradition as concessions to interventionism. Instead, it is an attempt of Hayek to formulate his idea of liberal economic policy in the lines of the Freiburg School. Later (in Hayek III), Hayek overhauls these position in the sense of his concept of cultural evolution. Spontaneous order of the catallaxy, not any more Eucken’s competitive order, is his normative ideal of the late Hayek. Further research will be dedicated to the causation of this turn. Is it “The Sensory Order” which makes him rethink the designability of the framework in the light of his new insight on the limits of human cognitive capability? Or the increasing work on and influence by the Scottish Enlightment? Overall, there are serious reasons to split Hayek’s social philosophy in an ordo-liberal and an evolutionary part. The focus on his ordo-liberal period seems to explain many of the misunderstandings directed to his work both from the “anarcho-capitalist” and from the “anti-neoliberal” literature.

Régis Servant, “The search for good social rules: object of science or of democratic choice? The case of Hayek as opposed to constitutional political economy”:

I propose in this paper to study the economic and social thought of Friedrich Hayek, a leading figure of contemporary liberalism. More precisely, my goal is to present the broad lines of hayekian liberalism to describe its position on a specific question: that of the role of democracy in the determination of what constitutes a good society. By society, I mean, according to Hayek, the institutions – rules of conduct/constitution – which men, as social beings, can consider in their reciprocal relationships. The goal of my paper is thus one of knowing the place Hayek grants to democracy in the definition of good social rules: Is Hayek in favor of constitutional democracy? My answer is negative: in contrast to economists such as James Buchanan and Viktor Vanberg, Hayek challenges citizen sovereignty on constitutional matters. And this, because he considers that this field concerns scientific analysis rather than democratic choice. Keywords : Constitution, constitutional political economy, James Buchanan, Viktor Vanberg, constitutional democracy, Friedrich Hayek, science of social rules, autonomy, heteronomy, value judgments, truth judgments.

Stéphane Longuet, “Hayek and monetary catallaxy”:

This paper focuses on the double process of competition found in Denationalization of Money; one concerns the choice of standard, the other the stability of the value of currencies. It shows that the regulating nature of competition is based on the evacuation of the interdependence of the money supply, on the lack of an analysis of the composition of the demand for money and on a simplistic approach of expectations. It thus stresses the limits of an approach that relies on heterogeneous foundations and which fails to reconcile the economic texts’ reasoning with the evolutionist questioning of the Hayekian theory on society.

Giandomenica Becchio, “Hayek and complex systems: an unpublished paper “Within System and About System”:

The aim of this paper is to describe an unpublished paper of Hayek’s – “Within System and About System” – held in the Hoover (and Duke) archives and to show the continuity between the Sensory Order (Hayek 1952) and Hayek’s subsequent writings on complex systems (Hayek 1967, which includes Hayek 1955; 1962; 1964; 1964a; 1978) and that unpublished work. In the Preface of The Sensory Order, Hayek reminded that this book was based on his readings of psychology during 1919-20 when he was still a young student in Vienna, interested in both psychology and economics. As it is well known, Hayek came back to psychology during early 1950’s, when he was influenced by Bertanlaffy’s contributes on open and complex systems. As Hayek reminded in the Preface of The Sensory Order, psychology essentially “deal[s] with the problems of the methods of the social sciences … [as] it was concerned with the logical character of social theory”. Hence, the subjects of The Sensory Order are the nature of mind and “the relation between mind and body or mental and physical events” (Hayek 1952). Hayek’s unpublished paper is devoted to the possible knowledge of our mental processes and the relationship between knowledge and the external environment. In his following writings on rules, perception and intelligibility; on the evolution of systems of rules of conduct; and on the theory of complex phenomena, Hayek applied his psychological inquiries to social sciences. The continuity between The Sensory Order and those following writings is fundamental in Hayek’s thought and it was not always well recognized.

David Andrews, “The Price Level in the Keynes-Hayek-Sraffa Exchange of the Early 1930s”:

The debate over monetary theory and policy among J.M. Keynes, Friedrich Hayek and Piero Sraffa in the early 1930s stands out as a remarkable event in the history of economic thought. Leading representatives of three significantly different approaches to economic theory engaged head to head on central theoretical issues in major economics journals. Keynes’s Treatise on Money was published in 1930. Hayek wrote a highly critical two part review of Keynes’s book that was published in 1931 and 1932. Hayek’s Prices and Production was first published in 1931. Keynes’s response to Hayek’s review, which morphed into a review of Hayek’s book, was published in 1931. Hayek then wrote a response to Keynes’s rebuttal. Keynes invited Sraffa to intervene with a review of Hayek’s book and that review was published in 1932. This brought a response from Hayek which was followed by a further comment by Sraffa. While the episode has received considerable attention in the literature, one important aspect has been overlooked, namely, the fact that on one issue, the use of the indexes of price levels, Sraffa and Hayek were united in opposition to Keynes. While price indexes played important roles in Keynes’s theory, both Hayek and Sraffa argued that they should play no role in monetary theory. This paper is concerned to examine this aspect of the exchange. This paper begins with Keynes’s early essay on price indexes and his theoretical position in the Treatise on Money. Then it examines the nature of Hayek’s explicit objection. Next the paper turns to Sraffa. He did not develop his own objection to the general price level in detail, and he appears to commend Hayek’s position. Nevertheless, I argue that this appearance is misleading and that Sraffa’s position is best understood in the context of his other writings on value theory. Hayek’s objection was based on the Austrian theory of capital and the subjective theory of value. Sraffa was sharply critical of both of these theories. Sraffa’s objection appears to have been based on Ricardo’s conclusion that it is impossible to discover an invariable measure of value. The paper next examines Keynes’s response to these objections, and concludes that while Keynes first defended his original position from both Hayek and Sraffa, he later came, in the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, to hold the position that Sraffa had taken.

Yusuke Yoshino, “Are Their Evolutionary Theory Darwinian? –Examining dialogue by F.A. Hayek and Kinji Imanishi”:

In this paper, I will attempt to compare the evolutionary theory of Friedrich Hayek (1899–1992) with that of Kinji Imanishi (1902–1992) by examining three of their conversations, which were held in Japan in 1979. Presently, many researchers hardly focus on their discussions because it seems that their opinions were highly antagonized. Hayek introduced the concept of cultural evolution in Law, Legislation, and Liberty (1973–79). Further, in his last book Fatal Conceit (1988), he repeatedly referred to cultural evolution and spontaneous order. His intertwined ideas are central to his late social philosophy. His evolutionary theory can be summarized as follows: 1) irrationalism, 2) selection of rules of conduct, and 3) diffusion of institution. Furthermore, in the discussions, he defines spontaneous order to be self-generating order. Hayek distinguished his cultural evolutionism to social Darwinism what Darwinism simply extend. On the other hand, Kinji Imanishi, formerly a professor of natural anthropology at Kyoto University, Japan, was a famous twentieth century scholar distinguished for his contributions to ecology, anthropology, and evolutionary theory. He also introduced lifestyle partitioning (SUMIWAKE in Japanese) and species-society (called specia by Imanishi) as his key concepts. These concepts illustrate that insects and animals live separately, and thus, individuals and species are a whole. However, Imanishi differentiated his theory from Darwinism and social Darwinism. His evolutionary theory can be characterized as follows: He opposed the Darwinian concepts on the following aspects: 1) natural selection, 2) mutation, and 3) survival of the fittest. Furthermore, in his discussions, he strongly opposed Hayeks evolutionism because he considered Hayeks theory to have adopted the concept of natural selection. However, I can find some common points in their discussion. For example, Imanishi admitted to the concept of Hayeks self-generating order. In addition, I will stress that their evolutionary theory can be understood in the context of one of Darwinism. Thus, upon examining their discussions in terms of the evolutionary theory or social philosophy, I will suggest that their assertions were complementary to each other.

Robert Van Horn, “Comrades in Arms: An Exploration of the Political and Intellectual Relationship of F. A. Hayek and Aaron Director (1945-1950)”:

This paper will explore the political and intellectual relationship of F. A. Hayek and Aaron Director. Exploring the relationship of these two figures is useful, not only because it is about two of important conservative economists of the 20th century, but also because it leads to insights about the rise of the postwar Chicago School. This paper will advance three claims. First, Director very much shared the worldview that Hayek advanced in The Road to Serfdom, and should be viewed as a disciple of Hayek in the immediate postwar period. Second, arguments in The Road to Serfdom served as a point of departure for Director’s Chicago Law School-based investigation (1946-1952) of the legal foundations of capitalism. Third, the postwar Chicago School should be viewed, at least in part, as a political movement. In conclusion, this paper to explores the historical implications of recognizing the influence of Hayek on the rise of the Chicago School, particularly on Chicago law and economics.

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