Bryan Caplan  

Why I Don't Call Myself a "Moderate Austrian"

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Here's a fair comment on my last post:

Then you need to rewrite your article to say "Why I am a moderate Austrian" rather than why you are not an Austrian.

Then you could get the substance right, even if you disregard some errors that Mises made, or what have you.

I could do so; but once you whittle Austrian economics down to its reasonable core, there's not enough distinctive content to warrant a label. In fact, the label is probably counter-productive, because it makes other economists think that the core is something weird. There's nothing about e.g. Hayek's "The Use of Knowledge in Society" that any standard textbook author couldn't accept; but when it travels under the Austrian flag, it makes mainstream economists nervous. Needlessly.


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COMMENTS (7 to date)
SheetWise writes:

Who's e.g. Hayek?

Eric writes:

He is Friedrich Hayek's poet brother. I hear that he was greatly influenced by e.e. cummings.

Renato Drumond writes:

"Who's e.g. Hayek?"

e.g.= exempli gratia = for example

jomama writes:

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liberty writes:

I think that you only see it that way because you have already taken a stance against Austrian methodology due to a bias of Austrians as fundamentalist and ends-driven. (I know you have many friends and colleagues who are Austrian, but this doesn't mean that you don't see the school somewhat this way).

There is indeed a unique core which is both fundamentally different from other approaches (neoclassical, Keynesian, etc) and reasonable. Consider the focus on dynamic rather than static analysis; the emphasis on axiomatic behavior-driven interpretation, rather than extrapolating mathematically from an initial static model; the consideration of structural changes resulting from money (non-neutrality), and so on.

Many of the insights and methodological approaches have slowly been trickling in to mainstream economics, validating them, but it is as unique a school as Keynesianism or neoclassicalism, and much more capable of withstanding the test of time.

I think you short change it, perhaps for fear of being labeled a kook?

SheetWise writes:

"e.g.= exempli gratia = for example"

That I'm familiar with, but there are some formatting standards and style considerations associated with that use.

FC writes:

If mainstream economists were rational, they would defer to Austrian experts.

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