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The Hayekian Puzzle: Spontaneous Order and the Business Cycle

  • Witt, Ulrich

A distinction is often made in F. A. Hayek's oeuvre between his earlier inquiries into the theory of capital and the business cycle and his later work on social philosophy and spontaneous economic order. This paper argues that these phases are based on two different, and basically incompatible, research paradigms--general equilibrium versus the dynamics of learning and expectation formation. Apparently running into troubles with his general equilibrium approach, Hayek abandoned business cycle research and never attempted to integrate it with his later thought. The paper therefore reconsiders the role of cyclical economic fluctuations within a theory of spontaneous economic order. Copyright 1997 by Scottish Economic Society.

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Article provided by Scottish Economic Society in its journal Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 44 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 44-58

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:44:y:1997:i:1:p:44-58
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