IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/ratioi/0127.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Israel Kirzner on Coordination and Discovery

Author

Listed:
  • Klein, Daniel B.

    () (George Mason University)

  • Briggeman, Jason

    () (George Mason University)

Abstract

Israel Kirzner has been one of the leaders in fashioning an Austrian school of economics. In his rendering of the Austrian school, one finds a marriage between Friedrich Hayek’s discourse with Ludwig von Mises’s deductive, praxeological image of science — a marriage that seems to us somewhat forced. The Misesian image of science stakes its claims to scientific status on purported axioms and categorical, 100-percent deductive truths, as well as the supposed avoidance of any looseness in evaluative judgments. In keeping with the praxeological style of discourse, Kirzner claims that his notion of coordination can be used as a clear-cut criterion of economic goodness. Kirzner wishes to claim that gainful entrepreneurial action in the market is always coordinative. We contend that Kirzner’s efforts to be categorical and to avoid looseness are unsuccessful. We argue that looseness inheres in the economic discussion of the most important things, and associate that viewpoint with Adam Smith. We suggest that Hayek is much closer to Smith than to Mises, and that Kirzner’s invocations of Hayek’s discussions of coordination are spurious. In denying looseness and trying to cope with the brittleness of categorical claims, Kirzner becomes abstruse. His discourse erupts with problems. Kirzner has erred in rejecting the understanding of coordination held by Hayek, Ronald Coase, and their contemporaries in the field at large. Kirzner’s refraining from the looser Smithian perspective stems from his devotion to Misesianism. Beyond all the criticism, however, we affirm the basic thrust of what Kirzner says about economic processes. Once we give up the claim that voluntary profitable activity is always or necessarily coordinative, and once we make peace with the aesthetic aspect of the idea of concatenate coordination, the basic claims of Kirzner can be salvaged: Voluntary profitable activity is usually coordinative, and government intervention is usually discoordinative. But the Misesian image of science must be dropped.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Daniel B. & Briggeman, Jason, 2008. "Israel Kirzner on Coordination and Discovery," Ratio Working Papers 127, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0127
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/dk_jb_kirzner.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jakee, Keith & Spong, Heath, 2003. "Praxeology, Entrepreneurship and the Market Process: A Review of Kirzner's Contribution," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, pages 461-486.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Klein, Daniel & Orsborn, Aaron, 2009. "Concatenate coordination and mutual coordination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 176-187, October.
    2. Peter J. Boettke & Daniel J. D'Amico, 2010. "Corridors, Coordination, and the Entrepreneurial Theory of the Market Process," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, pages 87-96.
    3. Israel M. Kirzner, 2010. "The Meaning of "Economic Goodness": Critical comments on Klein and Briggeman," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 25(Spring 20), pages 55-85.
    4. Harper, David A., 2013. "Property rights, entrepreneurship and coordination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 62-77.
    5. Steven Horwitz, 2010. "Kirznerian Entrepreneurship as a Misesian Solution to a Hayekian Problem," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 25(Spring 20), pages 97-103.
    6. Martin Ricketts, 2010. "Israel Kirzner on Coordination and Discovery: A Comment," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 25(Spring 20), pages 129-143.
    7. Gene Callahan, 2010. "A Comment on Klein/Briggeman and Kirzner," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 25(Spring 20), pages 105-115.
    8. repec:lrc:lareco:v:5:y:2017:i:1:p:23-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Henry Manne, 2014. "Resurrecting the ghostly entrepreneur," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 249-258, September.
    10. Lynne Kiesling, 2015. "Klein, Daniel B., Knowledge and coordination: A liberal interpretation," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 213-216, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    coordination; concatenation; discovery; entrepreneurship;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0127. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martin Korpi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ratiose.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.