Review of Austrian Economics, 11: 129–144 (1999) ° c 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers Hayek’s Implicit Economics: Rules and the Problem of Order KAREN I. VAUGHN rom Menger to the present day, economists working in the Austrian tradition have displayed an ambivalent attitude toward the use of equilibrium constructs in economic analysis. On the one hand, they have repeatedly argued that economics should be primarily concerned with explaining economic processes that generate spontaneous economics orders. On the other, they have been reluctant to attempt to explain market processes without reference to some more or less standard notion of equilibrium to ground the analysis. In Menger, the ambivalence shows itself in his references to prices that reﬂect the “full economic situation” despite the disproportionate weight that he gives to the growth of know- ledge in explaining economic development. Similarly in Mises’s Human Action, one ﬁnds a verbal analysis of evolutionary market processes as well as a justiﬁcation for employing Mises’s own notion of equilibrium, the evenly rotating economy, to illuminate aspects of a market order. Hayek’s early work on capital theory makes full use of equilibrium reasoning while his positions in the economic calculation debate show his deep reservations about the
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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