Download e-book for kindle: Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective by Steven Horwitz

By Steven Horwitz

ISBN-10: 0203258967

ISBN-13: 9780203258965

ISBN-10: 0415197627

ISBN-13: 9780415197625

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Additional resources for Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Foundations of the Market Economy Series)

Sample text

The data relevant for understanding individual plans and social-level equilibrium are the subjective expectations Prices, knowledge, and economic order 25 and beliefs of the actors in question. 11 The question that faces this definition of equilibrium is then an empirical one, in that understanding equilibrium requires that we explain how it might ever be possible that the individual actors would acquire the knowledge necessary for equilibrium to exist. If economic theory postulates some empirical tendency toward equilibrium, it must be understood as a process of knowledge acquisition and communication that tends toward the perfect plan compatibility that defines Hayekian equilibrium.

Kirzner’s answer was to go back to Mises’ emphasis on the entrepreneur. It is the active choices of the entrepreneur that drive the discovery process of market competition (Kirzner 1979). In this way, Kirzner was following up on the Mayer strand noted earlier, through his emphasis on the entrepreneur as the active agent in a market process characterized by disequilibrium prices. Evidence for this claim can be found in the first two chapters of the book, where Kirzner first distinguishes between competition as a process and as an equilibrium state and then distinguishes the Misesian entrepreneur from the Robbinsian maximizer.

This captures both the ex ante and discovery functions of price. Entrepreneurs use past prices as part of the process of anticipating future prices, and the potential of a difference between those prices is what entrepreneurs are alert to. The success of their actions is determined by the actual prices in the future (the ex post function). Competing entrepreneurs size up the existing set of prices, compare those prices to what each imagines future prices (and consumer wants) might be and undertake those actions they see as appropriate given their appraisal of the situation.

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Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Foundations of the Market Economy Series) by Steven Horwitz


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