Book Review: Beyond Mechanical Markets – Asset Price Swings, Risk and the Role of the State, by Roman Frydman and Michael D. Goldberg, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2011, 304 Pp., ISBN 978-0-691-14577-8 (E-Book), ISBN 978-1-400-83818-9
Journal of New Finance, No. 1, Vol. 1
8 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2017
Date Written: January 14, 2017
Frydman and Goldberg’s book lays out important methodological contributions in regard to questioning the hypothesis of rational expectations, constructed on the basis of the writings of Knight, Keynes and Hayek in its opening section. But in the second part, it does not propose a convincing model that would help avoid the formation of new financial bubbles. While accepting to some extent that the government entity has no greater knowledge than economic agents, it ignores the perverse public-sector incentives that James M. Buchanan and the School of Public Choice have explored in recent decades. Furthermore, although repeated reference to Hayek is encouraging, the authors seem to have misunderstood the implications of his most important insight, namely the knowledge problem as it affects public sector decision making. Paradoxically, this oversight leads Frydman and Goldberg themselves to adopt a pretension of knowledge stance despite explicitly criticising traditional models for this very same error.
Keywords: Mechanical markets, asset price swings, risk, role of the state
JEL Classification: E52, E58, E71
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation