The Review of Austrian Economics, 14:4, 239–250, 2001.
2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands.
The Development of Austrian Economics: Revisiting
the Neoclassical Divide
PETER LEWIN email@example.com
University of Texas at Dallas, School of Management, Richardson, TX 75083, USA
Abstract. Recent developments in Austrian-market-process economics are discussed, and, despite the continuing
difﬁculties of communicating with mainstream economics, some causes for optimism are discerned. Looking to
a useful future for Austrian economics will require that further empirical work in applying its insights be done.
The question of placing the burden of proof in policy discussions is examined.
JEL classiﬁcation: A1, B4.
This is the ﬁfth annual keynote address to this Society. The ﬁrst two, by Israel Kirzner
and Karen Vaughn, were exercises in self-reﬂection, examinations of the state of modern
Austrian economics and of its likely future. Tonight I want to return to that pattern and ask
some critical questions about the development of Austrian economics.
I realize that, in doing so, I am taking a risk. There is arguably only so much that one
can say about Austrian economics and how it differs from other types of economics. So it
is to be expected that my choice might occasion a certain apprehension, and even disap-
pointment, in the expectation of yet another attempt to say who we are and what makes us
different. Instead of pontiﬁcating about what Austrian economics is, and how it ought to
be done, why not adopt the Nike approach and “just do it.” As will emerge below, I have
some considerable sympathy with this viewpoint. I want to say something about how we
ought to “just do it.” My calculated decision to return to self-reﬂection reﬂects my belief
that there are important things to be said in taking note of what has happened in the last ﬁve
years and what implications this might have for the future.
How are we Doing?
In her presidential address Karen Vaughn suggested that the SDAE had been “organized
to give its members, marginalized in their academic employment a sense of academic
community and a forum for development.” She wondered how we might ensure that Austrian
economics had “both an interesting and a useful future.” (Vaughn 1998:4).
Our mission statement, our statement of purpose is composed of three basic elements
(my numbering and headings): develop, broaden and support.
This is a revised text of my presidential address to the SDAE, delivered on November 11, 2000.