Table of Contents

Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume I

Handbook on the History of Economic Analysis Volume I

Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert

Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz

Volume I contains original biographical profiles of many of the most important and influential economists from the seventeenth century to the present day. These inform the reader about their lives, works and impact on the further development of the discipline. The emphasis is on their lasting contributions to our understanding of the complex system known as the economy. The entries also shed light on the means and ways in which the functioning of this system can be improved and its dysfunction reduced. Each Handbook can be read individually and acts as a self-contained volume in its own right. It can be purchased separately or as part of a three-volume set.

Chapter 86: Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992)

Peter Boettke

Subjects: economics and finance, history of economic thought


Nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist – and I am even tempted to add that the economist who is only an economist is likely to become a nuisance if not a positive danger. (F.A. Hayek, “The dilemmas of specialization”, 1956, echoing J.S. Mill) Friedrich A. Hayek passed away on 23 March 1992, at the age of 92. His first academic publication was in the 1920s and his last was in the late 1980s. As Bruce Caldwell has put it: The volume of Hayek’s work provides another daunting challenge for interpreters. Hayek lived from 1899 to 1992, and his writings span seven decades. Worse, he was incredibly prolific. Even worse, he did not restrict himself to economics, making contributions in fields as diverse as psychology, political philosophy, the history of ideas, and social-science methodology. (Caldwell 2004: 4) Hayek’s depth and breadth was probably unmatched among twentieth-century economists, and was more in keeping with the grand tradition of moral philosophy and political economy as it was practised from Adam Smith to J.S. Mill. There certainly can be little doubt that Hayek was among the most prodigious classical liberal scholars of the twentieth century. Though he was awarded the 1974 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, his scholarly endeavours extended well beyond economics. At the time of his death, he had published 130 articles and 25 books on topics ranging from technical economics to theoretical psychology, from political philosophy to legal anthropology, and from...

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