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Profit Expectations and Confidence: Some unresolved issues in the Austrian/Post-Keynesian debate

  • Theodore Burczak
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    Austrian and Post-Keynesian economists both continue to make important contributions to subjectivism in economics. Yet, as the ongoing debate between members of the two schools demonstrates, Austrians and Post-Keynesians have very different views about the possibility of intertemporal coordination in a market economy. This paper returns to the debate between Hayek and Keynes in order to respond to a contemporary Austrian critique of Keynes's theory of expectations. The paper shows that the fundamental difference between the two schools ultimately boils down to the nature of conventional expectations and the question of confidence. If the conventional expectation holds to assume the future will look enough like the present to give investors confidence in their decisions, Hayek's arguments about the possibility of intertemporal coordination merit attention. If, however, this convention does not hold, as Keynes thought was sometimes likely, the self-regulating potential of a market economy is called into question.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 59-80

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:13:y:2001:i:1:p:59-80
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