April 12, 2004

Liberalism, Socialism, and Robust Political Economy

  • Peter J. Boettke

    Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Peter Leeson

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.

Robust political economy requires that both the assumptions of agent benevolence and omniscience be relaxed so that both incentive issues and knowledge problems can be adequately addressed. In this article we seek to (1) develop an understanding of the application of robustness in areas outside of political economy and use this understanding to further our appreciation of the nature of robustness in political economics, (2) explore the robustness of liberalism by considering how it performs under both worst-case motivation conditions and worst-case information conditions in the context of the arguments advanced by the classical economists and Friedrich von Hayek, and (3) explore the fragility of socialism under both best-case incentive conditions and best-case information conditions in the context of the arguments advanced by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek.

Read the article at Acton.org.