Richard Ebeling has posted Lecture #3 which discusses the market as a process of competitive cooperation. Richard focuses on the division of labor and the extent of the market.
Again, great stuff to think seriously about with your students.
The critical question for political economy is to discover that institutional pattern that enables individuals and groups to realize the gains from productive specialization and live in peaceful cooperation. From the Scottish Moral Philosophers to the Contemporary Austrian School of Economics, the answer was to be found in private property and freedom of contract protected by the rule of law.
I will be part of a discussion this weekend wrestling with Hayek's ideas. Here is a book panel on the occasion of the release of the edition of The Constitution of Liberty that is in Hayek's Collected Works, besides general editor Bruce Caldwell, the panel also includes the editor of this edition of The Constitution of Liberty Ron Hamowy, Richard Epstein and George Soros.
As mentioned yesterday Richard Ebeling has a new video series and eBook on the Austrian School of Economics. At the end of his introduction he produces a family tree of the Austrian School.
When I was a graduate student Don Lavoie had a cube on his desk as a gift from Ebeling that had 3 awesome photos of Mises and then 1 side an earlier version of this family tree. I was always intrigued by this cube of Don's and this family tree idea. It probably goes back to the fact that my grandmother had a family tree in her copy of The Bible that she kept next to her in her nightstand.
I'd be very interested in updating this family tree again to include the doctoral students produced since the 1990s and also the doctoral students of those doctoral students. I could also imagine a family tree that acknowledged cross fertilization influences such as Buchanan, but also Vernon Smith. Doing so with Buchanan would put Richard Wagner center stage as well as Randy Holcombe, and doing so with Vernon Smith would permit acknowledging not only Ryan Oprea and his formal market process theorizing, but the "humanomics" initiative of Bart Wilson. Similar streams of influence could be drawn from the influence of Hayek and the German Ordo-liberals that resulted in folks like Hans Albert, but then Viktor Vanberg, Ulrich Witt and Manfred Streit, and their students such as Stefan Voigt and Michael Wohlgemuth and current intellectual leaders such as Karen Horn.
Updating for the relatively newly minted PhDs of Peter Klein for example, would enable us to trace out not only the Austrian influence in the field of entrepreneurship and strategic management, but capture folks such as Per Bylund who has already published 2 extremely strong books. There is also now a completely new stream of monetary economists under the dissertation supervision of Lawrence White that are making their way in the economics profession such as Will Luther, Thomas Hogan, Alex Salter, etc. And, of course, Selgin had his own set of students from his time at Georgia, such as David Beckworth.
And to be a bit inward looking, I would list out all of Lavoie's PhD students -- so Dave Prychitko, Emily Chamlee-Wright, Roy Cordato, Karen Palasek, Howie Baetjer, Zynon Zygmont, and follow their students such as Scott Beaulier (Prychitko) and Virgil Storr (Chamlee-Wright) and then what they have done in advancing the Austrian School. And, of course, I would like to emphasize my former PhD students from Ed Stringham to Vlad Tarko and everyone in-between, and in particular to stress the influence that those teaching in PhD programs such as Chris Coyne, Pete Leeson, Adam Martin, Ben Powell, David and Emily Skarbek, and Virgil Storr have had in generating even a new group of scholar/teachers trained in the Austrian School of Economics.
I have supervised over 30 PhD students who are now teaching at colleges and universities throughout North America and Europe, and they are impacting students daily with their commitment to teaching and communicating the ideas of Menger, Mises, Hayek, Kirzner, etc. Alexander Fink, e.g., is a professor in Leipzig and has done fantastic work both of an academic and public policy nature. And we cannot forget the Austrian School Economists in Czech Republic, in France or in Spain, or in Italy, or Sweden, or the Netherlands, or even in Austria, and of course those we should never forget those in Argentina, Brazel and Guatemala.
I want to update this family tree building on Ebeling's and show the connections, the growth, the vibrancy, and ultimately the spread of influence of the Austrian School of Economics within the teaching of college and university education of economists, as well as acknowledging the continually advancing of scientific knowledge that this research community is engaged in. I am restricting my "family tree" to academics, if we branched out more to the "think tank" world, and just limited ourselves to those in the Atlas Network the growth of numbers since the 1990s is simply astonishing.
The Austrian School of Economics -- its scientific vision methodologically and analytically, and its practical insights in public policy -- have more adherents than at any time since the 1930s (and there I would count the LSE and early Chicago guys as being more on board with both the scientific perspective and policy insights than at any time since). Perhaps even dominating that number by an order of magnitude.
The Austrian School should be attractive to young minds -- it unlocks the mystery of commercial life, it helps make sense of non-commercial life, and it is humanistic in its method and humanitarian in its basic normative stance. The analysis provided tears asunder the pretenses of both those with privileges and those with power. Its analysis points to the future possibilities of a better world for the individual and for the society -- one where diverse groups of free and responsible individuals can learn to live better together than they ever could apart; where individuals have the opportunity to prosper in a vibrant and dynamic market economy, and where individuals can live and be actively engaged in creating caring communities. At the core of the MIsesian system is the insights of what makes possible social cooperation under the division of labor. The message, and how we learn to appreciate those insights through a unique methodological and analytical approach to the sciences of man, must be paramount in our teaching and I would add our research. And these "new" Austrians are doing this in ways that are so exciting and so promising that it is hard not to be simply intellectually blown away by the new demonstrations of the power of the ideas first developed by Menger and Bohm-Bawerk, by Mises and Hayek, by Kirzner and Rothbard, etc. Austrian economics is a growth industry and it is showing no signs of slowing down.
Richard Ebeling, one of the most articulate spokesman for the Austrian school of economics -- its history and its teachings, has in cooperation with the Future of Freedom Foundation developed a series of lectures as well as a new eBook to introduce a new generation to this approach to economic science and its application to public policy. I hope both are distributed widely.
When I was an undergraduate student and deciding that I was going to pursue a career as an economist in the Austrian school tradition, Walter Grinder of the Institute for Humane Studies sent me Richard Ebeling's study guide and bibliography for serious students of Austrian economics. I followed Ebeling's reading suggestions. Then while I was in graduate school, Richard used to write a column for the CSMP newsletter that I was the managing editor of entitled -- In the Journals and On the Shelves -- which provided further reading suggestions which I always followed. Richard wasn't my teacher in any technical sense of the word, but he was my "teacher" in a meaningful sense. He has been that teacher both in the concrete and in the abstract for so many economists that have dedicated their lives to advancing the awareness and the teachings of the Austrian school of economics as teachers, scholars, public intellectuals and citizens.
I hope you will take the time to watch these videos and to download his eBook, and to encourage others to do so as well.