Entrepreneurship, Money and Coordination

Entrepreneurship, Money and Coordination

Hayek’s Theory of Cultural Evolution

New Horizons in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics series

Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus

Hayek’s theory of cultural evolution has always generated controversy. Interest in Hayek’s theory, and others’ analysis and criticism of it, has been rising of late. This volume urges a reconsideration of Hayeks’ theory of evolution and aims to explore the relevance of Hayek’s theory for its own sake and for evolutionary economics more generally.

Introduction

Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus

Subjects: economics and finance, austrian economics, evolutionary economics

Extract

Jürgen G. Backhaus Hayek’s theory of cultural evolution has been the topic of some controversy in recent years – with this volume, we want to explore the relevance of Hayek’s theory for its own sake and for evolutionary economics more generally. Horst Feldmann’s critique of the critiques actually provided the impetus for this book.1 He largely refutes the criticisms by basing his argument on Hayek’s writings, taking his place in answering the critics. The Sensory Order is Hayek’s much less well-known attempt to explain how the human mind works in making distinctions between objects which may not necessarily correspond to distinguishing features of them.2 It is discussed here by Brian Loasby. The emergence of institutions through legislation is discussed against the background of Hayek’s theory of economic policy. It appears that Hayek provides quite specific precepts for economic policies relating to legal institutions which can be far-reaching in scope but must adhere, as the editor of this volume points out, to specific criteria of consistency and functionality. Christian Schubert likewise addresses the problem of designed institutions, i.e. the outcome of legislation, and what Hayek’s theory can contribute to a wider understanding of them. Both Backhaus and Schubert incorporate Hayek’s theory of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is a driving force in cultural evolution. Alexander Ebner therefore discusses Hayek’s theory of entrepreneurship. Money, a central concern in Hayek’s political economy, is the topic of two chapters. Martin Bohl and Jens Hölscher put Hayek’s proposal for a de-nationalization of money in...