This paper re-evaluates the orthodox understanding of the role which the 1974 award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to F.A. Hayek had on the revival of Austrian Economics in the later part of the 20th century. The orthodox view, which focuses exclusively on the sociological role of the award on returning Austrian economists to the conversation among academic economists, omits the critical role of purely doctrinal developments. In particular, the work done in the decade 1937–1948 is argued to be central to the Austrian revival. In this decade, both Hayek and Mises independently developed new clarifications of Austrian thought which represented an extension of the subjectivist tradition in economics: Mises’ emphasis on human entrepreneurial action and Hayek’s exploration of the role of knowledge in the market process. The interest of a generation of younger academics to the ideas developed in that critical decade is thus understood to be the true cause of the Austrian revival, with the award of the Nobel Prize serving a catalytic rather than causative role.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: May 9, 2015
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