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There is a certain sexism (for lack of a better word) in assuming that women (on average) must be making the same commitment to the market than men do (on average). Equality does not mean equal in our preferences. To assume so is itself a kind of sexism.If person X does not want to work long hours at a law firm but person Y does, guess who will advance faster and better? The point is this. Job performance is not measured simply by the title of the job. If a person wants to live a fuller life with pursuits outside of work, he or she will do less well than the workaholic with the same title. The preferences that men have on average are not better or worse than what women have on average. But not everything that makes life worthwhile is translatable into market rewards. To demand that it be so is to demand exploitation of the consumers. Mario Rizzo.
I believe that had Kirzner gone to study with Machlup, Kirzner's influence among mainstream economists would have been far greater. What Kirzner's ideas would have been like is another question -- impossible to answer. As to Joe Salerno's comment: "But at the end of the day, Machlup was very comfortable with neoclassical price theory, the core of theoretical economics." This is true. However, his interpretation of it was different. Importantly, Machlup did not equate the equilibrium aspect of the theory as a description of reality but only as a tool (a kind of mental experiment). Furthermore, neither Mises nor anyone else at the time had a very good theory of process so an approach which was based on the standard stuff with due recognition of its limits doesn't seem so bad to me. Mario Rizzo.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2014 on Machlup and Mises at Coordination Problem
I am so confused by this group. They seem to want to work against formalism and hyper-rationality. And yet the speakers at the Toronto conference include: Larry Summers, James Heckman, and Joseph Stiglitz. Is their point really about social values? I am honestly puzzled. Mario Rizzo.
Pete, It was a tremendous joy to work with you at NYU but that was only a prologue to the great joy that you have given me and others since you have gone on to build our Austrian movement. So thank *you*. Mario Rizzo.
There is also this: "In a nutshell, the bottom line emerging from economic research on group decision-making is that groups are more likely to make choices that follow standard game-theoretic predictions, while individuals are more likely to be influenced by biases, cognitive limitations, and social considerations. In this sense, groups are generally less "behavioral" than individuals. An immediate implication of this result is that individual decisions in isolation cannot necessarily be assumed to be good predictors of the decisions made by groups. More broadly, the evidence casts doubts on traditional approaches that model economic behavior as if individuals were making decisions in isolation." "Groups Make Better Self-Interested Decisions" Author(s): Gary Charness and Matthias SutterSource: The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Summer 2012), pp. 157-176.
Many legal philosophers/scholars pay lip service to the rule of law but they really don't care about it. More important to them is to provide legal rationales for the policies they advocate. I believe the rule of law is pretty much dead as a followed ideal. This is not to say that we should not point out violations of the rule of law. But it has faded under the twin influences of "progressivism" and central planning. (Hayek was right.) Mario Rizzo.
Someone should inform the pope about this. Mario Rizzo.
Let us apply the lesson that "institutions matter" to the economics profession itself. Economics will not change for the better until the institution framework in which the discipline is practiced is changed. The incentive structure of economists must be altered; preaching is not enough. How can the institutional framework of economics as a discipline be changed and in what direction should it be? I do not know. Mario Rizzo
Knight did not like Mises and therefore would give him as little credit as possible. I think Knight found Mises's intellectual style offensive -- many people did. So if Knight were confronted with Mises's ideas or points he would find a way to disagree. But Knight himself was a contrarian (but much more so than Buchanan). He hated to agree with anyone, including himself! Knight had complex views on capitalism. On the one hand, he was for it and knew that freedom depended on it. On the other hand, he saw that the reasons it was failing politically -- and maybe even economically -- are "valid." People just don't like the inequality it creates, the coarsening influence of commercial culture, the skepticism that liberalism creates about our treasured certainties is terrible to face, and so on. So Knight's view was a pessimistic view of human nature and the future. Mises saw all the horrors Knight saw but retained an ultimate optimism. I don't think science alone gives us reason for optimism or pessimism. The universe is indifferent. Mario Rizzo.
The recents deaths of Buchanan, Ostrom and now Alchian remind me that so many of the economists we Austrians think of as great are of the old generation. And now there are the predictable events. The obvious question, for me, is whether we are still in the same discipline as these people were in. In the prime of their days economics was not as obsessed with formalism as it is now. There was a more frequent effort not to lose contact with the "intuitive" roots of economics. True, there were many exceptions. But being that kind of economist did not preclude getting a job at a very top department. Now largely it does. Economists is not defined by its subject matter nor its point of view, but by its method of analysis. This method now goes beyond simple maximization subject to constraint. It is rooted in the severe application of the axiomatic method. Inutition (so-called) is now just motivation; it is not fundamental. It will take a long time for the relevant institutions to take account of the differences in the ways certain phenomena are studied. But it has to come. Just as in the 1960s and earlier many schools lumped sociologists and anthropologists into the same department, there will surely come a time when economics will break apart. I do not know exactly how this will occur but I am convinced it will. Mario Rizzo.
Oh yes. I did not mean to imply anything else. I especially like his brilliant treatment of rationality and the principle of price. Although Becker's work bears a strong similarity to Wicksteed's treatment of rationality,Becker did not get it directly from Wicksteed. Or so I have gathered from an email exchange with Becker. Mario Rizzo
Most of us think that Wicksteed was a free-market kind of guy. But the reality is that he saw plenty wrong with the market. The famous chapter on the "economic nexus" makes that clear, if you read beyond the first few pages. Wicksteed was, no doubt, a brilliant economist but he was also a Unitarian minister with a strong moralistic streak.
The link for Mulligan's paper seems to be to a different one. Mario Rizzo.
You can imagine the "accuracy" of biblical quotations then. There is a pre-modern philosophy of quotatation which is to put in the mouth of the speaker what the reporter knows he meant or what the speaker's philosophy would dictate. So, in a sense, this is a biblical quotation of Buchanan. (I am sure he would appreciate that!) Mario Rizzo.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2013 on Misattributed Buchanan Quote at Coordination Problem is now following The Typepad Team
Jan 11, 2013