October, 2019

What Is Still Wrong with the Austrian School of Economics?

  • Peter J. Boettke

    Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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There are more scholars teaching and actively engaged in research associated with the Austrian School of Economics now than at any other time in its history. However, there is still something seriously wrong within the Austrian School and changes must be made both individually and collectively. In this piece, the author first discusses scientific progress with an emphasis on the individual behavior that is required to contribute to science, and the horizontal relationships that are required for the spread of ideas within a scientific community. Next, the author discusses the example of the Austrian school from 1950 to today in terms of these horizontal relationships within the profession and, in particular, in comparison with other mainline contributors during the same time period. The author then will address the multiplicity of horizontal relationships that might be explored as alternative discourse communities in the contemporary intellectual landscape. Lastly, the author concludes that the Austrian School of Economics must cultivate an explicit awareness of plausible, intrinsically interesting, and creative research agendas, and must therefore regard their work as a productive input into the ongoing research production of others within the broader community of economists and political economists.