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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Keynes and Hayek

Just got back from this session:

1930 and the Challenge of the Depression for Economic Thinking: Friedrich Hayek versus John Maynard Keynes
Moderator: Philip Mirowski, Carl Koch Professor of Economics and the History of Science at the University of Notre Dame
Robert Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick, England.
Speaker Papers
Bruce Caldwell, Editor of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, History of Economic Thought, Economic Methodology Professor, Duke University
Speaker Papers

It's late, the session ended after 11, and I haven't slept since who knows when, so let me just add two things.

First, after hearing the talk tonight on Hayek from Bruce Caldwell, I think someone should write "Hayek and the Hayekians" (Axel Leijonhufvud -- see the link-- is participating in the session I'm moderating tomorrow. I asked him how to pronounce his name tonight, and he was very gracious in coaching me, it means "lion's head" and it helps to break it up that way, but I'll probably blow it. I'll try listening to this.)

Second, walking back I wondered what macroeconomic theory would be like today if Keynes had never lived? How important was one person in the development of an alternative theoretical paradigm, one that found acceptance due top the Great Depression (though the competition between the ideas of Keynes and Hayek was more intense than I realized).If it's overly dependent on the existence of one person -- Keynes -- what does that say about the chances of a new theoretical paradigm emerging after this crisis (something many people at this conference believe is needed).

There was a tour today of Keyne's office and the archives with his original manuscripts, Hayek's manuscripts too, but I missed it because my plane was stuck on the ground in Denver with a maintenance issue for 1-2 hours, that'll cheer you up before a long flight to London, then the bus from London to Cambridge was way slower than promised...

Hadn't been here before -- interesting place.

    Posted by on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 04:41 PM in Economics, History of Thought, Methodology | Permalink  Comments (16)


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