Hayek and the Evolution of Designed Institutions: a Critical Assessment
AbstractWhile Evolutionary Economics has devoted much attention to the attempt to explain the evolution of institutions that emerge spontaneously, the genesis, diffusion and evaluation of consciously designed institutions has largely been neglected. This paper tries to show (i) how an evolutionary approach to this problem could look like and (ii) in what way Friedrich A. v. Hayek's work can contribute to it. Three aspects are identified as playing a key role in this respect: first, Hayek's positive theory of both the legislative and the judicial law-making process; second, his normative theory, centered on the instrumental value of individual freedom for maintaining the epistemic superiority of spontaneous social orders; and third, his concept of democracy, based on a dynamic deliberation (instead of a static aggregation) view on individual preferences. While there are more or less wide gaps in all three original accounts, there are ways to fill them in an arguably "Hayekian" way and to combine the different threads to a conceptual basis for a Hayekian political economy.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2004-11.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-07-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2004-07-26 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2004-07-26 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2004-07-26 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
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- Niclas Berggren, 2006. "Legal positivism and property rights: a critique of Hayek and Peczenik," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 217-235, September.
- Niclas Berggren, 2009.
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- Berggren, Niclas, 2008. "Choosing One’s Own Informal Institutions: On Hayek’s Critique of Keynes’s Immoralism," Ratio Working Papers 118, The Ratio Institute.
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