Hayek and Market Socialism: Science, Ideology and Public Policy
Economic Affairs, December 2005
16 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2010
Date Written: 2005
It is a great honor for me to have this opportunity to speak at this great institution of economic education and research, and on this occasion to honor F. A. Hayek – a scholar who I admire greatly as a man of keen intellect and courage. Hayek’s scholarly career spanned from the 1920s to the 1980s, and he had appointments at several universities, but the LSE was the school where he taught at for the longest period, and where his own ideas took shape. I want to thank the staff at LSE for coordinating my visit, Professor Tim Besley for being a gracious and welcoming host, and Mr. Toby Baxendale for his respect for the ideas of the LSE tradition of Cannan, Robbins, Plant, Hayek, Coase and P. T. Bauer, and for his vision of how these ideas can be revitalized and advanced at this great institution of higher learning to both improve our understanding and realize a freer and more economically prosperous state of affairs in Britain and abroad.
I have chosen as my topic “Hayek and Market Socialism,” and I have done so for a variety of reasons:
(1) It is in this debate that Hayek’s research program in philosophy, politics, and economics emerged; (2) Hayek’s main contributions to this controversy were written while he was here at the LSE; (3) The topic is not an example of ‘beating a dead horse’ because the subtlety of Hayek’s argument is not fully appreciated and its relevance to contemporary debates in public policy is not generalized recognized.
In the interest of being completely frank, I should add that I also recently had occasion to revisit this episode in Hayek’s career for a series of professional publication opportunities.
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