IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Israel Kirzner on Coordination and Discovery

  • Klein, Daniel B.

    ()

    (George Mason University)

  • Briggeman, Jason

    ()

    (George Mason University)

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/dk_jb_kirzner.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found (http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/dk_jb_kirzner.pdf [301 Moved Permanently]--> http://ratio.se/pdf/wp/dk_jb_kirzner.pdf). If this is indeed the case, please notify (Martin Korpi)


Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 127.

as
in new window

Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: 17 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Private Enterprise.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0127
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08-441 59 00
Fax: 08-441 59 29
Web page: http://www.ratio.se/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  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, vol. 25(04), pages 461-486, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

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)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.