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« Congratulations to Oliver Williamson as Well | Main | FEE on Nobel Prize »


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Very wise quotation from Elinor Ostrom.

I'm curious, Pete, can you direct me to one of your many online papers where you discuss Ostrom's work, or even reference her?

wonderful quote, she sounds very Hayekian. I feel as if maybe she is among the few recent (past several decades) Nobel economists that are in that tradition. No?

The ridiculous stretches I've seen made here regarding the supposed Austrian affinity of Ostrom and Williamson reminds me of what Caplan calls the "Hayek said the sky is blue" tactic. Pete should remember, it came up in his debate with Caplan.

My Lord!

This comment, presumably addressed to Pete, is incorrect. Although I do not mention the word "Austrian" in my appreciation of Ostrom, you can clearly see the affinity:


Sounds like a great name for a blog. You should seriously think about the name change.

It might make a good Journal name as well ...

Olstrom explicitly endorses Hayek's model of social science explanation in one of her articles. Go to http://hayekcenter.org for the link.

Look this has already been said on here. In 2003 I ran a conference on the Ostroms and their contributions to spontaneous order studies. The papers were published in JEBO. I then wrote a book with my colleague Paul Dragos Aligica on the Ostroms that was published earlier this year.

In my work on real-existing communism published in the 1990s, I drew on the work from the Workshop, especially Kamanski, and in my work on development the same. Finally, the constant theme of self-governance that has animated my own work and that of my students is directly a by-product of Lin's pioneering work.

Finally, and it is important to remember that Lin and Vincent are foundational contributors to public choice economics, and they both draw and differentiate their position from Buchanan, Tullock and Hayek in this regard.


P.S.: On Williamson, I suggest you direct your questions to Peter Klein. I agree with what Klein has to say, but I did little more than point to it. He is the point person on that. But none of these are a stretch in my opinion. BTW, note in this post you should read the first line, it might clarify some things for you.

Don't quote Hayek, quote me:

"Bryan Caplan doesn't know his elbow from his ass when it comes to Hayek's economics and the history of economic thought." -- Greg Ransom

"I'm curious, Pete, can you direct me to one of your many online papers where you discuss Ostrom's work, or even reference her?"

As far as I can see the suggestion here is that Boettke et al hadn't really heard of Ostrom before this prize. Next you might be suggesting that Ostrom should pick up a copy of the crank Hoppe's work. Oh, wait... http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/39366.html

More seriously, I'm reading Ostrom's "Governing the Commons" now and a lot the time I find myself thinking that empirical work there really helps me understand what Hayek meant in certain parts of essays such as "Individualism: True and False".

For example:

"The major criterion used by irrigation engineers to evaluate the performance of an irrigatin system is whether or not a system is technically efficient in the sense that water is allocated optimally to enhance crop production. The federation falls short in regard to this criterion, but it performs well in regard to mobalization of personnel for construction and maintenance activities... As we shall see in Chapter 5, when external experts, working without the participation of the irrigators, have designed systems with the primary aim of acheiving technical efficiency, they have frequently failed."

First, I apologize to Pete for thinking that his enthusiasm for the OSTROM's work was just his usual name-dropping.

Second, the paper Greg refers to is a perfect example of Caplans observation. Three references to Hayek in acknowledgment of prior work does not make one Austrian-influenced, and it's absurd to suggest otherwise, no matter that some commonality might exist. But, when you consider Rush Limbaugh to be a Hayekian intellectual, I guess your criteria are pretty wide.

Buzzcut -- you lie like a rug. I didn't say Hayek influenced. I said Ostrom endorses Hayek and sees herself pursuing a Hayek strategy, which she does.

You don't need the first 100 pages of Human Action to set the scene for instutional analysis, based on the notion of a purposeful, problem-solving actor in a situation of uncertainty with a mix of constraints and opportunities, some "natural", some manmade, some beyond control and some changeable. You could start from a meditation on your favorite game (say, cricket http://www.the-rathouse.com/EvenMoreAustrianProgram/OffspinneronReductionvsExistence.html)

Or a part of "The Poverty of Historicism" (1944/45), maybe section 31 on the need for the analysis of history in terms of institutions and human action.

I am aware of several people who started HA but really struggled to get to the economics, some may have fallen over before they got there. Others like Blaug dismiss the whole shooting match on account of the case for a priorism which is tragic because it is not necessary. It can be translated into the language of evolutionary epistemology (if it matters) plus fallibilism a la Barry Smith but it is still a long way to travel to get to the economics.

Hey Greg, I'm curious: whose opinion do you think Pete values more, yours or Caplan's?

Hey Buzz, go share your stink in someone else's kitchen.

Is there a blog were haven't been called out as a waste of space troll?

Well Greg, I just troll for fun, you however, make a living off it, and under the banner of Hayek. Pretty impressive, I must say.

Gentlemen (and I use the term loosely),

Can the two of you either get a room or take this to email? You've each had your whack - it's time to let it go please.

"mechanical optimization by omniscient agents"

Great description of mainstream econ!

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