Hayekian Wednesday

Don Boudreaux has an analogy explaining how a superficial understanding of a phenomenon does not necessarily imply the ability to replicate it.  There are many things we simply do not see. William Briggs also links to a great series demolishing Alex Rosenberg's arguments.

Economics Is, Indeed, A Real Thing

Scott Adams asks if economics is a real thing.  My answer is that yes, it is, but that many people don't really understand what it actually is.  Economics is not predicting what markets will do; economics, properly defined, is the study of human action, of catallactics.  Adams talks about a "newly expanded" definition of economics which…

Free Currency Competition

Larry White has a great write-up of the Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011.  It's important that he notes that it would not eliminate the USD, or even the Federal Reserve's role in currency markets.  Rather, it would re-create the open competition which existed for over a century in the United States.  The best…

In The Papers: Those Dishonest Economists

I have a lot of respect for George Selgin's academic research, and his paper entitled Those Dishonest Goldsmiths is a good reason why. Abstract: Modern accounts of the origins of fractional-reserve banking, in economics textbooks and elsewhere, often assert that London goldsmiths came up with the idea around the middle of the 17th century, and first implemented…

In The Papers: Human Action

Gene Callahan has a relatively old paper that I just recently found, entitled Oakeshott and Mises on Understanding Human Action. Abstract: Although Michael Oakeshott and Ludwig von Mises were arguably two of the more profound theorists of human activity in the twentieth century, there has been remarkably little comparative study of their ideas. That is…

Leijonhufvud’s Hayek Interview

Not too long ago, I watched an interview of FA Hayek by Axel Leijonhufvud.  The interview was mostly historical and biographical, focusing on Hayek's growing up in Vienna and the circles in which he traveled there.  Near the end, though, I heard Leijonhufvud try to steal a point intellectually.  This is in the third to…

The (Difficult To Find) Inflation Problem

Robert Higgs and Stefan Karlsson weigh in on why they believe that high inflation has not hit the US, despite large increases in the money supply.  I still believe that inflation is higher than is commonly let on (given the increase in price across a pretty wide swath of goods:  namely, food and oil-based products),…

In The Papers: Hayekian Anarchism

Ed Stringham and Todd Zywicki argue, in their paper entitled Hayekian Anarchism, that a Hayekian should be in favor of anarchy. Abstract: Should law be provided centrally by the state or by some other means? Even relatively staunch advocates of competition such as Friedrich Hayek believe that the state must provide law centrally. This article…