NOTES AND REPLIES Statistical Malfeasance and Interpreting Economic Phenomena Richard Vedder accept It took seven decades, but most people now what Ludwig yon Mises explained three quarters of a century ago, namel)~ that centrally directed socialistic economies cannot succeed in coordinating vast numbers of interrelated decisions, in large part because of the information problem arising from non-market forms of resource allocation (Mises 1920). No amount of input-out- put models generated on vast computers can overcome the problems of directing resources under changing conditions of wants and scar- cir. The information problem that plagued socialist states, like the old Soviet Union, persists in another form today in so-called "mixed" economies like the United States. While the price data generated by markets, as consumers and producers interact in a productive, if seemingly chaotic, discovery process, allow decen- tralized economic agents to make complex and ever-changing economic decisions without any central direction; governments try to generate data which aggregate economic activity over entire econo- mies to assist the softer forms of economic planning that persists in most of the industrialized democracies--fiscal and monetary policy; Richard Vedder is professor of economics at Ohio University. Thgs paper was presented at the 1997 Austrian Scholars
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 27, 2006
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