Economists make confident assertions in op-ed columns and on cable news—so why are their explanations at odds with equally confident assertions from other economists? And why are all economic predictions so rarely borne out? Harnessing his frustration with this contradiction, Schlefer set out to investigate how economists arrive at their opinions.
The Changing Face of Economics gives the reader a sense of the modern economics profession and how it is changing. The volume does so with a set of nine interviews with cutting edge economists, followed by interviews with two Nobel Prize winners, Paul Samuelson and Kenneth Arrow, reflecting on the changes that are occurring. What results is a clear picture of today's economics--and it is no longer standard neoclassical economics.
The interviews and commentary together demonstrate that economics is currently undergoing a fundamental shift in method and is moving away from traditional neoclassical economics into a dynamic set of new methods and approaches. These new approaches include work in behavioral economics, experimental economics, evolutionary game theory and ecological approaches, complexity and nonlinear dynamics, methodological analysis, and agent-based modeling.
David E. Colander is Professor of Economics, Middlebury College.
J. Barkley Rosser, Jr., is Professor of Economics and Kirby L. Kramer Jr. Professor of Business Administration, James Madison University.
Richard P. F. Holt is Professor of Churchill Honors and Economics, Southern Oregon University.
In 1931, when the young F. A. Hayek challenged the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, sixteen years his senior, and one of the world's leading economists, he sparked a spirited debate that would influence economic policy in democratic countries for decades. Their extensive exchange lasted until Keynes's death in 1946, and is reprinted in its entirety in this latest volume of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek.
When the journal Economica published a review of Keynes's Treatise on Money by Hayek in 1931, Keynes's response consisted principlally of an attack on Hayek's own work on monetary theory, Prices and Production. Conducted almost entirely in economics journals, the battle that followed revealed two very different responses to a world in economic crisis. Keynes sought a revision of the liberal political order—arguing for greater government intervention in the hope of protecting against the painful fluctuations of the business cycle. Hayek instead warned that state involvement would cause irreparable damage to the economy.
This volume begins with Hayek's 1963 reminiscence "The Economics of the 1930s as Seen from London," which has never been published before. The articles, letters, and reviews from journals published in the 1930s are followed by Hayek's later reflections on Keynes's work and influence. The Introduction by Bruce Caldwell puts the debate in context, providing detailed information about the economists in Keynes's circle at Cambridge, their role in the acceptance of his ideas, and the ways in which theory affected policy during the interwar period.
Caldwell calls the debate between Hayek and Keynes "a battle for the minds of the rising generation of British-trained economists." There is no doubt that Keynes won the battle during his lifetime. Now, when many of Hayek's ideas have been vindicated by the collapse of collectivist economies and the revival of the free market around the world, this book clarifies Hayek's work on monetary theory—formed in heated opposition to Keynes—and illuminates his efforts to fight protectionism in an age of economic crisis.
F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and the principal proponent of classical liberal thought in the twentieth century. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.
Economics has always had an unstable reputation in the academic world as well as in the public eye. Some consider economists to be scientists while others see them as disguised ideologues. The resulting insecurity of their discipline's status has driven economists continually to redefine its scope, methods, and content.
Since the 1930s economists have increasingly emphasized the scientific, quantitative side of their field, which has directed research to topics that can be elaborated through mathematical models. Economist Melvin Reder argues that this ongoing historical shift has been the result of pressure from two directions: from society's demand that expert advice be based on "scientific findings," and from economists themselves, who have wanted to view their own profession as a science. This book describes the profession of economics as it has developed in response to these challenges.
The diversity of the responses points to persistent internal disagreements within the economics community about its proper scope and methods. These disagreements, in turn, have led to incompatible proposals for the direction of research and divergent recommendations for public policy. Although Reder does not pretend to resolve these difficulties, he appraises different arguments and demonstrates how they have influenced both economists' behavior and public esteem for the profession. While recognizing that serious questions remain about economics's scientific status and practical utility, this book shows where economics has obtained practically usable results and where its fruits have been limited to elaboration of analytical constructions of uncertain applicability.
"[A] fascinating account of the sociology and philosophy of a profession. . . . This is an important book about an important field."—John L. Casti, New Scientist
How do economists decide what questions to address and how to choose their theories? How do they tackle the problems of the economic system and give advice on public policy? With these broad questions, Nobel laureate R. H. Coase, widely recognized for his seminal work on transaction costs, reflects on some of the most fundamental concerns of economists over the past two centuries.
In fifteen essays, Coase evaluates the contributions of a number of outstanding figures, including Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, Arnold Plant, Duncan Black, and George Stigler, as well as economists at the London School of Economics in the 1930s.
Ronald H. Coase was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1991.
Hayek gives the main arguments for the free-market case and presents his manifesto on the "errors of socialism." Hayek argues that socialism has, from its origins, been mistaken on factual, and even on logical, grounds and that its repeated failures in the many different practical applications of socialist ideas that this century has witnessed were the direct outcome of these errors. He labels as the "fatal conceit" the idea that "man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes."
"The achievement of The Fatal Conceit is that it freshly shows why socialism must be refuted rather than merely dismissed—then refutes it again."—David R. Henderson, Fortune.
"Fascinating. . . . The energy and precision with which Mr. Hayek sweeps away his opposition is impressive."—Edward H. Crane, Wall Street Journal
F. A. Hayek is considered a pioneer in monetary theory, the preeminent proponent of the libertarian philosophy, and the ideological mentor of the Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions."
The crumbling of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the iron curtain, and the Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions" all owe a tremendous debt to F. A. Hayek. Economist, social and political theorist, and intellectual historian, Hayek passionately championed individual liberty and condemned the dangers of state control. Now Hayek at last tells the story of his long and controversial career, during which his fortunes rose, fell, and finally rose again.
Through a complete collection of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches and a wide selection of interviews, Hayek on Hayek provides the first detailed chronology of Hayek's early life and education, his intellectual progress, and the academic and public reception of his ideas. His discussions range from economic methodology and the question of religious faith to the atmosphere of post-World War I Vienna and the British character.
Born in 1899 into a Viennese family of academics and civil servants, Hayek was educated at the University of Vienna, fought in the Great War, and later moved to London, where, as he watched liberty vanish under fascism and communism across Europe, he wrote The Road to Serfdom. Although this book attracted great public attention, Hayek was ignored by other economists for thirty years after World War II, when European social democracies boomed and Keynesianism became the dominant intellectual force. However, the award of the Nobel Prize in economics for 1974 signaled a reversal in Hayek's fortunes, and before his death in 1992 he saw his life's work vindicated in the collapse of the planned economies of Eastern Europe.
Hayek on Hayek is as close to an autobiography of Hayek as we will ever have. In his own eloquent words, Hayek reveals the remarkable life of a revolutionary thinker in revolutionary times.
"One of the great thinkers of our age who explored the promise and contours of liberty....[Hayek] revolutionized the world's intellectual and political life"—President George Bush, on awarding F. A. Hayek the Medal of Freedom
F. A. Hayek, recipient of the Medal of Freedom 1991 and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and the principal proponent of the libertarian philosophy. Hayek is the author of numerous books in economics, as well as books in political philosophy and psychology.
Friedrich A. Hayek is regarded as one of the preeminent economic theorists of the twentieth century, as much for his work outside of economics as for his work within it. During a career spanning several decades, he made contributions in fields as diverse as psychology, political philosophy, the history of ideas, and the methodology of the social sciences. Bruce Caldwell—editor of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek—understands Hayek's thought like few others, and with this book he offers us the first full intellectual biography of this pivotal social theorist.
Caldwell begins by providing the necessary background for understanding Hayek's thought, tracing the emergence, in fin-de-siècle Vienna, of the Austrian school of economics—a distinctive analysis forged in the midst of contending schools of thought. In the second part of the book, Caldwell follows the path by which Hayek, beginning from the standard Austrian assumptions, gradually developed his unique perspective on not only economics but a broad range of social phenomena. In the third part, Caldwell offers both an assessment of Hayek's arguments and, in an epilogue, an insightful estimation of how Hayek's insights can help us to clarify and reexamine changes in the field of economics during the twentieth century.
As Hayek's ideas matured, he became increasingly critical of developments within mainstream economics: his works grew increasingly contrarian and evolved in striking—and sometimes seemingly contradictory—ways. Caldwell is ideally suited to explain the complex evolution of Hayek's thought, and his analysis here is nothing short of brilliant, impressively situating Hayek in a broader intellectual context, unpacking the often difficult turns in his thinking, and showing how his economic ideas came to inform his ideas on the other social sciences.
Hayek's Challenge will be received as one of the most important works published on this thinker in recent decades.
Rick Kuhn’s Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism is the definitive study of the life and work of this renowned economist, activist, and intellectual. As a young man, Grossman joined the socialist movement and participated in Jewish workers' strikes and demonstrations, as well as in boycotts against employers and the Austro-Hungarian state. He moved to Vienna, but was driven back to Poland by the Austrian state's racist citizenship policies. A member of the illegal Polish Communist Party, Grossman was frequently arrested and jailed, finally leaving Poland for a post at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, which gave rise to the famous 'Frankfurt School'.
Grossman published his best known work in Frankfurt, including studies of Marx's method in Capital and theories of economic crisis that remain influential today. In tracing Grossman's experiences, from Kraków to New York, and offering a detailed account of his ideas, the biography provides an intimate account of key events in twentieth century history, including the politicization of east European Jewry, the World Wars, the rise of Stalinism and Nazism, and the cold war.
How does globalization work? Focusing on Latin America, Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth show that exports of expertise and ideals from the United States to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico have played a crucial role in transforming their state forms and economies since World War II.
Based on more than 300 extensive interviews with major players in governments, foundations, law firms, universities, and think tanks, Dezalay and Garth examine both the production of northern exports such as neoliberal economics and international human rights law and the ways they are received south of the United States. They find that the content of what is exported and how it fares are profoundly shaped by domestic struggles for power and influence—"palace wars"—in the nations involved. For instance, challenges to the eastern intellectual establishment influenced the Reagan-era export of University of Chicago-style neoliberal economics to Chile, where it enjoyed a warm reception from Pinochet and his allies because they could use it to discredit the previous regime.
Innovative and sophisticated, The Internationalization of Palace Wars offers much needed concrete information about the transnational processes that shape our world.
Lauchlin Currie’s contribution to monetary theory and policies during the New Deal and in the postwar period when he became one of the most important economic advisors to several presidents of Colombia is the subject of this biography. Currie was a major economic advisor to president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and as his administrative assistant from 1939 until the president’s death in 1945 helped shape Roosevelt’s thinking on economic issues. His involvement in U.S. policymaking in China, where he directed Lend-Lease operations from 1941-1943, was one of the factors leading to his confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1949 he directed the first World Bank mission to Colombia. Roger Sandilands had access to Currie’s own papers and to previously unpublished material. In this biography he provides the reader with a critical evaluation of Currie’s contribution to the literature on the theory and practice of economic development in general, together with an analysis of how his concepts were shaped during the New Deal and in post-World War II Colombia.
Robert J. Mayhew Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress HB863.M29 2014 | Dewey Decimal 304.6092
Though Robert Malthus has never disappeared, he has been perpetually misunderstood. Robert Mayhew offers at once a major reassessment of Malthus's ideas and an intellectual history of the origins of modern debates about demography, resources, and the environment, giving historical depth to our current planetary concerns.
One of the five Hungarian scientific geniuses dubbed "the Martians" by their colleagues, John von Neumann is often hailed as the greatest mathematician of the twentieth century and even as the greatest scientist after Einstein. He was a key figure in the Manhattan Project; the inventor of game theory; the pioneer developer of the modern stored-program electronic computer; and an adviser to the top echelons of the American military establishment. In The Martian's Daughter, Marina von Neumann Whitman reveals intimate details about the famed scientist and explores how the cosmopolitan environment in which she was immersed, the demanding expectations of her parents, and her own struggles to emerge from the shadow of a larger-than-life parent shaped her life and work.
Unfortunately, von Neumann did not live to see his daughter rise to become the first or highest-ranking woman in a variety of arenas. Whitman became a noted academic during the 1960s and '70s, casting her teaching and writing in the framework of globalization before the word had been invented; became the first woman ever to serve on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and participated actively in U.S. efforts to reshape the international monetary and financial system during the early 1970s; pioneered the role of women on the boards of leading multinational corporations; and became the highest-ranking female executive in the American auto industry in the 1980s. In her memoir, Whitman quotes from personal letters from her father and describes her interactions with such figures as Roger Smith of GM and President Nixon. She also details the difficulties she encountered as an early entrant into a world dominated by men and how she overcame the obstacles to, in her words, "have it all."
When Henry Grady died in 1957, one obituary called him “America’s top diplomatic soldier” for a critical period of the Cold War, and over a long career he was deeply involved in events that changed our role in the world. Even so, this self-described “soft” cold warrior has been largely overlooked by historians. His memoirs, left to languish with his other papers, are now published for the first time, offering new insight into the origins and implementation of American trade and development policies—and into the tumult that was the Cold War.
A specialist in international economic policy, Grady helped create the system of reciprocal trade established under FDR during the depression. Progressing in his career through his abilities rather than through political connections, he was sent to India during World War II to spark its production for the war effort, then to Italy to help jump-start its economy once German forces were driven out. After the war, he was the first American ambassador to an independent India, then served as ambassador to Greece and Iran—where he was embroiled in the oil industry crisis that eventually led to the CIA’s overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.
Grady’s memoirs are an intriguing and informative account of early Cold War diplomacy in significant and turbulent regions of the Third World, embellished by his thoughts about the changing nature of American economic policies and his role as a representative of that system abroad. It offers new perspectives on the crisis in Iran in the early 1950s, where Grady was especially critical of Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s support for the remnants of British imperialism in Iran—and paid for his criticism with his job. Editor John McNay’s introduction and comments shed light on Grady’s thinking and his role in the policy-making process.
More than a chronicle of a wide-ranging career—one that reflects the emergence of the United States as the world’s leading economic power—Grady’s memoirs are a trenchant critique of U.S. foreign policy in the first half of the twentieth century. They provide modern readers an opportunity to reconsider the conflict between realism and idealism in foreign relations during the Cold War years.
In this witty and modest intellectual autobiography, George J. Stigler gives us a fascinating glimpse into the little-known world of economics and the people who study it. One of the most distinguished economists of the twentieth century, Stigler was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1982 for his work on public regulation. He also helped found the Chicago School of economics, and many of his fellow Chicago luminaries appear in these pages, including Fredrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Coase, and Gary Becker. Stigler's appreciation for such colleagues and his sense of excitement about economic ideas past and present make his Memoirs both highly entertaining and highly educational.
The first comprehensive biography of progressive labor organizer, peace worker, and economist Clinton Jencks (1918–2005), this book explores the life of one of the most important political and social activists to appear in the Southwestern United States in the twentieth century. A key figure in the radical International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers (IUMMSW) Local 890 in Grant County, New Mexico, Jencks was involved in organizing not only the mine workers but also their wives in the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company. He was active in the production of the 1954 landmark labor film dramatizing the Empire Zinc strike, Salt of the Earth, which was heavily suppressed during the McCarthy era and led to Jencks's persecution by the federal government.
Labor historian James J. Lorence examines the interaction between Jencks's personal experience and the broader forces that marked the world and society in which he worked and lived. Following the work of Jencks and his equally progressive wife, Virginia Derr Jencks, Lorence illuminates the roots and character of Southwestern unionism, the role of radicalism in the Mexican-American civil rights movement, the rise of working-class feminism within Local 890 and the Grant County Mexican American community, and the development of Mexican-American identity in the Southwest. Chronicling Jencks's five-year-long legal battle against charges of perjury, this biography also illustrates how civil liberties and American labor were constrained by the specter of anticommunism during the Cold War.
Drawing from extensive research as well as interviews and correspondence, this volume highlights Clinton Jencks's dramatic influence on the history of labor culture in the Southwest through a lifetime devoted to progress and change for the social good.
Although David Hume’s contributions to philosophy are well known, his work on economics has been largely overlooked. A Philosopher’s Economist offers the definitive account of Hume’s “worldly philosophy” and argues that economics was the predominant preoccupation of his life and work. Margaret Schabas and Carl Wennerlind show that Hume made important contributions to economic theory, for example, on money, trade, and public finance. Hume’s astute understanding of human behavior provided an important foundation to his economics and enabled him to follow through on considering the ethical and political dimensions of capitalism. He was also keen to connect his analysis with policy recommendations and sought to influence people in power. While he supported commercial modernization to promote peaceful relations, foster learning, and soften religious zealotry, he was not an unqualified enthusiast. He recognized the potential of capitalism for instability and the rise of absolutism.
Hume’s imprint on modern economics is profound and far reaching, with his influence on Adam Smith and Thomas Robert Malthus as well as later admirers such as Friedrich Hayek and Paul Krugman. Schabas and Wennerlind’s book compels us to reconsider the centrality and legacy of Hume’s economic thought—for both his time and ours—and serves as an important springboard for reflections on the philosophical underpinnings of economics.
Prophet of Innovation
Thomas K. McCraw Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress HB119.S35M43 2007 | Dewey Decimal 330.122092
The destruction of businesses, fortunes, products, and careers is the price of progress toward a better material life. No one understood this economic principle better than Joseph A. Schumpeter, who made his mark as the prophet of incessant change. Drawing on all of Schumpeter's writings, including many intimate diaries and letters never before used, this biography paints the full portrait of a magnetic figure who aspired to become the world’s greatest economist, lover, and horseman—and admitted to failure only with the horses.
One of the most original and prolific economists of the twentieth century, Joan Robinson (1903–83) is widely regarded as the most important woman in the history of economic thought. Robinson studied economics at Cambridge University, where she made a career that lasted some fifty years. She was an unlikely candidate for success at Cambridge. A young woman in 1930 in a university dominated by men, she succeeded despite not having a remarkable academic record, a college fellowship, significant publications, or a powerful patron. In The Provocative Joan Robinson, Nahid Aslanbeigui and Guy Oakes trace the strategies and tactics Robinson used to create her professional identity as a Cambridge economist in the 1930s, examining how she recruited mentors and advocates, carefully defined her objectives, and deftly pursued and exploited opportunities.
Aslanbeigui and Oakes demonstrate that Robinson’s professional identity was thoroughly embedded in a local scientific culture in which the Cambridge economists A. C. Pigou, John Maynard Keynes, Dennis Robertson, Piero Sraffa, Richard Kahn (Robinson’s closest friend on the Cambridge faculty), and her husband Austin Robinson were important figures. Although the economists Joan Robinson most admired—Pigou, Keynes, and their mentor Alfred Marshall—had discovered ideas of singular greatness, she was convinced that each had failed to grasp the essential theoretical significance of his own work. She made it her mission to recast their work both to illuminate their major contributions and to redefine a Cambridge tradition of economic thought. Based on the extensive correspondence of Robinson and her colleagues, The Provocative Joan Robinson is the story of a remarkable woman, the intellectual and social world of a legendary group of economists, and the interplay between ideas, ambitions, and disciplinary communities.
"Rationalist theories of political behavior have recently risen in status to that of a new—or, more accurately, rediscovered—paradigm in the systematic study of politics. Brian Barry's short, provocative book played no small part in the debate that precipitated this shift. . . . Without reservation, Barry's treatise is the most lucid and most influential critique of two important, competing perspectives in political analysis: the 'sociological' school of Talcott Parsons, Gabriel Almond, and other so-called functionalists; and the 'economic' school of Anthony Downs and Mancur Olson, among others."—Dennis J. Encarnation, American Journal of Sociology
Two Lucky People: Memoirs
Milton Friedman and Rose D. Friedman University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress HB119.A3F75 1998 | Dewey Decimal 330.092273
In Two Lucky People, Rose and Milton Friedman provide a memorable and lively account of their lives, the people they knew, and the work they shared. Their involvement with world leaders and many of this century's most important public policy issues moves their memoir beyond the merely personal and makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history of twentieth-century ideas.
"The Friedmans come across as the last Enlightenment thinkers in a post-modern world. . . . This is a book that restores your faith in reasoned discourse. . . . There really are people who believe in scholarly exchange as a way to discover truth."—David Brooks, New York Times Book Review
"The Friedmans are a feisty couple, who clearly delight in their lives and each other. And shining through their reticence, and their conservatism, is a decency that even liberals will recognize."—Milton and Judith Viorst, Washington Post Book World
"This engaging book recounts the life and contributions of one of America's most influential writers and economists in the second half of the twentieth century. And her husband's no slouch either. . . . An indispensable guide through the evolution of economic thought."—Stephen Moore, National Review
"A thought-provoking book and one rich in history, the personal history of the Friedmans . . . and the cultural and political history of our country."—Steve Huntley, Chicago Sun-Times Books
"[Two Lucky People] is almost like a letter from a couple of old friends—a couple of old friends who had a long, compelling intellectual journey, came to know some of the great world leaders of this century, and had 60 years of happy, supportive marriage."—N. Gregory Mankiw, Fortune
"A rich autobiographical and historical panorama."—William P. Kucewicz, Wall Street Journal
Craufurd D. Goodwin Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress HB119.L56G66 2014 | Dewey Decimal 330.156092
Unemployment, monetary and fiscal policy, and the merits and drawbacks of free markets were a few of the issues the journalist and public philosopher Walter Lippmann explained to the public during the Depression, when professional economists skilled at translating concepts for a lay audience were not yet on the scene, as Craufurd Goodwin shows.