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Competition As An Ambiguous Discovery Procedure: A Reappraisal Of F. A. Hayek'S Epistemic Market Liberalism

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  • Witt, Ulrich

Abstract

Epistemic arguments play a significant role in the foundations of market liberalism as exemplified, in particular, by the work of F. A. Hayek. Competition in free markets is claimed to be the most effective device both to utilize the knowledge dispersed throughout society as well as create new knowledge through innovation competition. The fast pace with which new economic opportunities are discovered and costs are reduced is considered proof of the benefits of free markets to the common good. However, with its inherently unpredictable consequences, innovation competition is actually ambiguous in this respect. This feature raises questions over the stringency of market liberal pleas that oppose quests for redistribution and environmental concerns in an absolute fashion.

Suggested Citation

  • Witt, Ulrich, 2013. "Competition As An Ambiguous Discovery Procedure: A Reappraisal Of F. A. Hayek'S Epistemic Market Liberalism," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 121-138, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:29:y:2013:i:01:p:121-138_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Naomi Beck, 2015. "The garden of orderly polity: F. A. Hayek and T. H. Huxley’s views on social evolution," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 83-96, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; 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

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