Boudreaux on Hayek

The latest EconTalk is an interview with Don Boudreaux, co-contributor to the blog Cafe Hayek, who provides us with an oral annotated bibliography of Hayek’s work.

Some comments,

  1. Boudreaux notes that he has never read The Pure Theory of Capital “cover to cover.” I don’t know what this implies regarding whether or not he’s read it (maybe he’s read most of it), but I think the fact is that very few people have read Hayek’s 1941 treatise on capital. Early on, Boudreaux recommends Prices and Production, but the fact is that Hayek’s treatment of capital theory undergoes quite a bit of change during the 1930s. You can capture many of these changes in Hayek’s other work, including Profits, Interest, and Investment. While they prefer not to recommend Hayek’s 1941 tome, if you can stomach the complexity (both in the ideas discussed and in Hayek’s use of language) I do recommend it;
  2. There’s some discussion on a feature of Hayek’s work that I’ve brought attention to on this blog: Hayek’s views on money and banking change. Boudreaux notes that during the 1960s and 1970s Hayek began to gradually accept the role of the market in competitively supplying money. Boudreaux suggests that Hayek was influenced by Vera Smith’s The Rationale of Central Banking, but this book was based on Smith’s dissertation, defended during the 1930s. Why did it take Hayek so long to consider free banking? There were plenty of other scholars who had done some work on the topic, including Mises;
  3. There’s a lot of good discussion on the nuance of Hayek’s thought on political philosophy. This includes clarification of some of the issues in The Road to Serfdom, and some talk on Hayek’s advocacy of certain interventions;
  4. I skipped around after a while, but I didn’t hear much on the concept of spontaneous order. This is unfortunate, since I’ve been wanting to read more of Hayek’s work in that area.

Anyways, it’s an interview worth listening to. Personally, I’d enjoy more of these oral annotated bibliographies.

2 thoughts on “Boudreaux on Hayek

  1. Malthus0

    “I skipped around after a while, but I didn’t hear much on the
    concept of spontaneous order. This is unfortunate, since I’ve been
    wanting to read more of Hayek’s work in that area”

    Well you can’t do much better then vol 1, of Law, Legislation and Liberty with regards to that. Particularly chapter 2 – Cosmos and Taxis.

    My bookmarked electronic copy is downloadable here if you want

    https://sites.google.com/site/malthus0splace/home/hayek/political-theory

    Reply

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