Competition as an Ambiguous Discovery Procedure: A Reappraisal of Hayek's Epistemic Market Liberalism
AbstractEpistemic arguments play a significant role in Hayek's defense of market liberalism. His claim that market competition is a discovery procedure that serves the common good is a case in point. The hypothesis of the markets' efficient use of existing knowledge is supplemented by the idea that markets are also most effectively creating new knowledge. However, in his assessment Hayek neglects the role of new technological knowledge. He ignores that the discovery procedure induces not only price and cost competition but also competition by innovations. Thence he overlooks the ambiguity that follows from the unpredictability of the consequences of innovations. This fact is shown to challenge the epistemic foundations and the stringency of Hayek's version of market liberalism.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2011-06.
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
competition; innovation; liberalism; knowledge; self-organization; Hayek Length 15 pages;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
- Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-06-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2011-06-11 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-HPE-2011-06-11 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2011-06-11 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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