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Entrepreneurship and Progress: The Need for a Greater Integration of Kirzner's and Hayek's Insights

  • Garello Pierre

    (Université d’Aix Marseille)

To improve on the argument presented by classical economists, many authors have tried to rely as much as possible on a value-free approach. In this paper, reasons to reject the propositions made by neoclassical economists are briefly recalled. We then turn toward Kirzner’s proposition which is to evaluate a policy, or a rule, according to the extent to which it promotes coordination. This proposition, however, must also be rejected because, if it introduces some dynamics in the picture, it is a dynamics towards equilibrium, while real life, entrepreneurial dynamics can either be towards coordination or discoordination. Coordination is not monotonously linked to progress. It therefore appears preferable to rely on Hayek’s notion of order; a notion specifically designed to allow progress to take place, while maintaining a ‘satisfactory’ level of coordination. For such an order to prevail, any rule or policy deliberately introduced must be compatible with the existing order, that is, it must protect legitimate expectations. Following a reflection on the definition of ‘legitimacy’ we then reach the conclusion that the quest for a value-free welfare economics is lost, and that even the quest for a value-free economics will have, in a certain sense, to be left, or at least reconsidered.Afin d’améliorer l’argument présenté par les économistes classiques, beaucoup d’auteurs ont essayé de se reposer autant que possible sur une approche sans jugements de valeur. Dans cet article, nous rappelons brièvement les raisons de rejeter les propositions faites par les économistes néoclassiques. Nous nous tournons donc vers la proposition de Kirzner qui est d’évaluer une politique, ou une règle, par rapport à la manière dont elle promeut la coordination. Cependant, cette proposition doit aussi être rejetée car si elle introduit une dynamique dans l’analyse, c’est une dynamique du côté de l’équilibre, alors que dans la vie réelle, la dynamique entrepreneuriale peut initier plus de coordination ou plus de discoordination. La coordination n’est pas liée de manière monotone au progrès. Il apparaît aussi préférable de se rattacher à la notion d’ordre de Hayek, notion construite précisément pour permettre au progrès d’avoir lieu, tout en maintenant un niveau “satisfaisant” de coordination. Pour qu’un tel ordre existe, toute règle ou politique délibérément introduite doit être compatible avec l’ordre existant, c’està- dire, qu’elle doit protéger les anticipations légitimes. Après une réflexion sur la définition de “légitimité”, nous arrivons à la conclusion que la quête d’une science économique du bien-être sans jugement de valeur est un échec, et que la quête d’une science économique sans jugement de valeur doit être, dans un certain sens, abandonnée ou au mieux reconsidérée.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

Volume (Year): 12 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 1-19

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:12:y:2002:i:2:n:3
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