Stigler on the Science of Economics: A Tale of Two Knights

34 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2018 Last revised: 14 Dec 2018

See all articles by Peter J. Boettke

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Rosolino Candela

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: January 24, 2018

Abstract

Our focus in this chapter will be on the methodological role that Stigler played in validating what he regarded as the science of economics that he had inherited from his own teacher, Frank Knight, and how this affected his understanding not only of economic theory but also public policy. Stigler’s understanding of economic science, viewed from a Knightian perspective, illustrates the evolution of economic science in 20th century neoclassical economics in two respects. First, it illustrates what was deemphasized and what was later carried forward from Knight by the generation of Chicago economists following WWII. Second, it highlights how Stigler’s understanding of Knight contribute and detracted from the mainline of economic science and its public policy relevance.

Keywords: George Stigler; James Buchanan; Economic Science; Public Policy

JEL Classification: B31; B41; D01

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Candela, Rosolino, Stigler on the Science of Economics: A Tale of Two Knights (January 24, 2018). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 18-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3109015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3109015

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Rosolino Candela (Contact Author)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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