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Austrian and Neoclassical Economics: Any Gains from Trade?

  • Sherwin Rosen

The systems aspects of Austrian economic thought pertaining to the process of competition deserve a prominent place in modern economic thinking. The paper develops the differences between the Austrian view of competition as an evolutionary process, and the neoclassical emphasis on determining market equilibrium under known or given conditions. These bear importantly on the fundamental way we think about decentralization of economic activities among highly specialized agents with incomplete knowledge and information. The role of competition as a selection device that often encourages survival of the fittest and solves some types of agency problems is well worth thinking about.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 139-152

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:11:y:1997:i:4:p:139-52
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.11.4.139
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  1. Rosen, Sherwin, 1983. "Specialization and Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 43-49, January.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
  3. Joseph Persky, 1991. "Retrospectives: Lange and von Mises, Large-Scale Enterprises, and the Economic Case for Socialism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 229-236, Fall.
  4. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Market for Goods and the Market for Ideas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 384-91, May.
  7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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