Monday, January 28, 2013

Is the Invisible Hand Hard to Grasp?

Russ Roberts points out (see link below) that mainline economics seems to be losing out to Keynesian economics in the marketplace for ideas.  He  argues that mainline economics (what Peter Boettke calls the tradition of ideas from Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Boettke and Roberts themselves) may be hard to understand if one doesn't observe it in practice and infer its existence that way. 

Further, he points out that economists may have an incentive to provide the economic analysis that the public demands.  After the crisis, people demanded that government do something (according to the government) and so a wave of regulation was unleashed.  Economists (many, but not all) then produced research that showed government intervention works.  We now know just how limited the government's success can be at promoting growth and lowering unemployment.  Perhaps a new flood of research will seek to explain the limited efficacy of government deficit spending and regulation to put GDP growth back on track and the ideas of Friedman, Hayek, Smith, and others will gain traction.

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge

No comments: