The Non-Existence of "New Support" But A Good Account of 'Austrian Economics'
Bert Tieben, SEO Economic Research, Amsterdam, presents a paper to the 44th Annual UK Conference of the History of Economic Thought. It is scheduled for the same section in which I was to present my own paper on the "Myth of Adam Smith’s Invisible-Hand: a view from the trenches", but which, due to a short illness last week, I am now unable to travel to Keele to participate.
Bert Tieben: “New support for the Invisible Hand: lessons from Chicago and Vienna”
“As a corollary, economists are called upon to defend what many considered one of the key principles of their science, the beneficial effects of the invisible hand, guiding individual actions in a free market society to the benefit of all.” (p7)
And in the references:
“Selgin, G.A. and L.H. White (1994), “How Would the Invisible Hand Handle Money?”, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 32(Dec.), pp. 1718-1749. 22”
These are the only direct references to the “invisible-hand” in Bert Toeben’s paper, suggesting that “what many considered one of the key principles of their science” is hardly supported by evidence in the text of the paper. Even the stated “key principle”, namely the “the beneficial effects of the invisible hand, guiding individual actions in a free market society to the benefit of all”, is not clearly – or at all – argued for by Bert.
This is a pity. The so-called “new support” is an empty set. It makes my absence on health grounds only, doubly disappointing. I do no get a chance to challenge the existence of the so-called “new support’ and I do not get a chance to hear Bert’s supporting arguments.
However, reading the rest of Bert’s paper I found it a most interesting account of the political economy of Mises’ Austrian economic theory, with side-steps to the ideas of Hayek and I. M. Kirzner’s Works. These were most readable, in my opinion, and worthy of the attention of Lost Legacy readers.