Praxeology, Experimental Economics and the Process of Choice: F.A. Hayek and Vernon Smith on the Misesian Action Axiom

Praxeology, Experimental Economics and the Process of Choice: F.A. Hayek and Vernon Smith on the... Mises’s action axiom postulates that human action is purposeful behavior. While this axiom is the building block for a powerful methodology, it is also incomplete, because it sets aside the underlying processes of decision-making. And while Mises does not dismiss the gap between intention and action, he is silent on it, relegating such a study to psychology. We contend that a study of underlying thought patterns and the process of choice – rather than contradicting praxeology and the action axiom – in fact complements the writings of Mises. To demonstrate this, we look at two authors: F.A. Hayek and Vernon Smith. Hayek’s theory of the sensory order sheds light on the process of choice, and explains how decision-making is contextually embedded. Smith’s concepts of ecological rationality and neurological “hard-wiring” help us understand decision-making. We argue that cognitive foundations enrich our understanding of the process of choice, and thus of the Misesian action axiom. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Praxeology, Experimental Economics and the Process of Choice: F.A. Hayek and Vernon Smith on the Misesian Action Axiom

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics; Public Finance & Economics; Political Science; Methodology/History of Economic Thought
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-014-0277-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mises’s action axiom postulates that human action is purposeful behavior. While this axiom is the building block for a powerful methodology, it is also incomplete, because it sets aside the underlying processes of decision-making. And while Mises does not dismiss the gap between intention and action, he is silent on it, relegating such a study to psychology. We contend that a study of underlying thought patterns and the process of choice – rather than contradicting praxeology and the action axiom – in fact complements the writings of Mises. To demonstrate this, we look at two authors: F.A. Hayek and Vernon Smith. Hayek’s theory of the sensory order sheds light on the process of choice, and explains how decision-making is contextually embedded. Smith’s concepts of ecological rationality and neurological “hard-wiring” help us understand decision-making. We argue that cognitive foundations enrich our understanding of the process of choice, and thus of the Misesian action axiom.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 15, 2014

References

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