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Why is Misesian theory so unpopular in Economics academia?


feargach

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Virtually every department of Economics on Earth forcefully rejects the theories of von Mises and Hayek and their brand of libertarianism. The exceptions are a small college set up by a Latin American dictator in central America, and one college in the GOP heartland of the USA.

I ask because ardent supporters of von Mises are so dominant on P.ie, then surely they must have some kind of opinion as to why this dominance is so lacking in the world's universities.

Why is this deep admiration of von Mises not replicated in Economics faculties around the globe, seeing as the economic arguments he made are re-asserted so repetitively online?

Any Misesians care to hazard an explanation for this disparity between publicity and academic acceptance?

<Mod> This thread has been merged with "The Irrationality of Behavioral Economic Experiments". </Mod>
 
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sauntersplash

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Virtually every department of Economics on Earth forcefully rejects the theories of von Mises and Hayek and their brand of libertarianism. The exceptions are a small college set up by a Latin American dictator in central America, and one college in the GOP heartland of the USA.

I ask because ardent supporters of von Mises are so dominant on P.ie, then surely they must have some kind of opinion as to why this dominance is so lacking in the world's universities.

Why is this deep admiration of von Mises not replicated in Economics faculties around the globe, seeing as the economic arguments he made are re-asserted so repetitively online?

Any Misesians care to hazard an explanation for this disparity between publicity and academic acceptance?
Fashion. Thinkers go in and out of style just like everything else. Turns out academics can be just as superficial as the rest of us.

Good luck finding a philosophy lecturer who's interested in Sartre for example.
 

feargach

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I won't directly criticise the theories of Hayek and von Mises on this thread, because that would be off-topic.

I just want to know why their supporters think there is so little support from them among academics in the realm of economics.

Hopefully we can keep this thread on the rails and have a civilised discussion of the matter.
 

feargach

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Fashion. Thinkers go in and out of style just like everything else. Turns out academics can be just as superficial as the rest of us.

Good luck finding a philosophy lecturer who's interested in Sartre for example.
No, we can certainly eliminate fashion as a cause. Marxism and Keynesianism have been extremely unfashionable for much of the last 40 years, and they both have a significant presence in Economics academia. Far, far beyond anything Misesianism has been able to muster, despite the wide popularity of Misesianism outside the academic field.

So fashion is definitely, certainly out.
 

Cassandra Syndrome

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Apart from getting predictions right and accurately describing what really happened during as Murray Rothbard called the second Great Depression of the 1930s, The Austrian School of Economics students tend to freelance as they do not like the system of politics and control of the general population.

They do not like the system of Government bureaucracy and their academies, so I suppose they avoid them out of simply looking like hypocrites. Libertarians subscribe to an intellectual revolution on opening peoples minds and freeing their spirits from the serfdom of the current Neo Feudalist crap.

Murray Rothbard, a renowned proponent of real Capitalist was very clear about his vilification of Neo Liberalism, Thatcherism and Reaganomics in the 70s and 80s.
 

Hazlitt

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I ask because
Actually feargach you ask in response to being totally embarrassed by your last thread and this thread is simply a tantrum hissy-fit in reaction to the response you got for your ridiculous "secret two-decade ballot" idea :roll:

http://www.politics.ie/environment/121023-climate-change-harm-caused-secret-ballot.html

Absolutely pathetic feargach! Hahahahaha :lol:

Hazlitt said:
Hahahahaha !! Absolutely pathetic feargach !! Starting a new thread on Mises in a tantrum hissy-fit due to feeling embarrassed by your stupid secret two-decade long ballot :roll:

http://www.politics.ie/economy/121036-why-misesian-theory-so-unpopular-economics-academia.html

Pathetic !!
 

sauntersplash

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No, we can certainly eliminate fashion as a cause. Marxism and Keynesianism have been extremely unfashionable for much of the last 40 years, and they both have a significant presence in Economics academia. Far, far beyond anything Misesianism has been able to muster, despite the wide popularity of Misesianism outside the academic field.

So fashion is definitely, certainly out.
But you must recognise that an academic career is built on novel opinions and original takes on established thinkers. When a substantial intellectual gains the interest of the public beyond the sphere of academia, University lecturers generally turn their attention to more obscure topics. This often happens immediately following the death of an "important" philosopher/economist/sociologist and can last for a generation.
 

Cassandra Syndrome

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Not untypically from feargach, any people belonging to a group who doesn't go along with his ludicrous behavioural economics school he goes crying to mods in an attempt to get them banned.....

:roll:

Play another record feargach. Twit.
You know your stuff Hazlitt. I remember you politely correcting me on my hypothesis on Disaster economics and a potential for economic activity after the floods. You backed it up with excellent links and I learned valuable information, thank you.

I wish more posters around here would adapt the same methods in argueing their points
 

feargach

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Apart from getting predictions right and accurately describing what really happened during as Murray Rothbard called the second Great Depression of the 1930s, The Austrian School of Economics students tend to freelance as they do not like the system of politics and control of the general population.

They do not like the system of Government bureaucracy and their academies, so I suppose they avoid them out of simply looking like hypocrites. Libertarians subscribe to an intellectual revolution on opening peoples minds and freeing their spirits from the serfdom of the current Neo Feudalist crap.
So you're saying that there is a strong link between people's likes and dislikes of politics and control and their ability to evaluate a theory?

Not only that, but that this link is almost totally universal in that hardly any economist on Earth is able to simultaneously tolerate the "system of politics and control" whilst accepting Misesian theory as factual?

Ideas as vastly diverse as all the various splinters of Marxism and Friedmanism are able to co-exist and tolerate one another cheerfully, but once you accept Misesian theory as fact, you instantly become unable to stand people who disagree with you and work alongside them?

That's a bold claim. I don't know of anyone else who asserts that the mere acceptance of one theory over another renders you incapable of working alongside someone who prefers another theory.

Pretty much every branch of academia has a pretty high level of tolerance for much more extreme divergences of opinion.

Think of physics in the decades while the debate between Newtonians and Einsteinians was not yet settled. It's hard to claim that the split between Friedmanism and Misesianism is as profound as that one, intellectually, yet the physicists were far better able to keep it within the bounds of academia.

Have you evidence to back up the contention that accepting a given set of economic assumptions, such as Misesianism, inevitably renders the person incapable of tolerating the presence of someone with a different view? It seems far-fetched.

Perhaps it is written somewhere in Mises' work that it is impossible to share a roof with someone who takes a different view to you? Although I doubt it.

From what I have read it appears that von Mises was fairly eager to get as much academic respect as possible. That his theories are currently a failure in the academic world does not appear to be the result of a deliberate decision by von Mises.
 

Clanrickard

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Virtually every department of Economics on Earth forcefully rejects the theories of von Mises and Hayek and their brand of libertarianism. The exceptions are a small college set up by a Latin American dictator in central America, and one college in the GOP heartland of the USA.

I ask because ardent supporters of von Mises are so dominant on P.ie, then surely they must have some kind of opinion as to why this dominance is so lacking in the world's universities.
Because it is not a "theory". It is baloney and serious academics know this.
 

Hazlitt

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From what I have read..
I doubt you've read a single book of Mises.

..it appears that von Mises was fairly eager to get as much academic respect as possible.
This really just shows you don't know the first thing about Mises. He shunned numerous possible top positions because he was a firm believer in the logical characteristic of economics.

If you want to have a debate, let's have a proper one, about the methodology of economic science.
 

Clanrickard

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Is that your scientific conclusion? :roll:

Specifically what in your opinion is baloney about the Austrian methodology in comparison to say the Positivist methodology?

Do you actually believe that economics is a science like physics? :D Physics-envy rears it's green ugly head again!
Make some observations not backed up with any data. Decide they are facts. Repeat. Austrian "methodology" and the reason why no economics department takes it seriously.
 

Cassandra Syndrome

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Why do so many people hate liberty? Do they suffer from Stockholm Syndrome maybe?
 

Hazlitt

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The Irrationality of Behavioral Economic Experiments

I believe it is important to highlight the critical shortcomings of positivist economic science such as for example the "behavioural school".

As reported in The New York Times (in 2001) "an emerging and relatively novel school of economic theorists is now making a pitch for more government regulation of the economy." [1]

"In particular, Professors David Laibson of Harvard University and Sendhil Mullainathan of MIT are making some waves with their idea that economic science ought to be merged with psychology so as to gain a better understanding of markets." [2]

The following is a good link to an academic wiki outlining the irrationality of behavioral economic experiments:

Experiments can be extremely valuable in the scientific world when analyzing things such as gravity and magnetism. In the lab, you always know if you drop a ball it will fall to the ground, and this will be true for the world outside the laboratory as well. Economists are trying to use experiments done with humans to explain actions of the outside world. Unfortunately, economic experiments are not the same as scientific experiments. What is shown in an economic experiment in a laboratory will not always coincide with what is really occurring in the real world. There are four major reason as to why it is not feasible to extrapolate laboratory results to the outside world.[3]

  1. Subjects know they are being watched
  2. Ability for experiments to be controlled
  3. Small stakes
  4. Ability for subjects to be self-selecting
Subjects know they are being watched
A large aspect of analyzing economic experiments is looking if subjects make moral or wealth-maximizing choices. People are easily influenced if they know they are making decisions in an "artificial environment". It is human nature to act morally if you know you are being watched and judged by an experimenter. In the real world, people are not being watched and therefore will be less inclined to act unselfishly.

Ability for experiments to be controlled
Experimenters have the ability to manipulate and make slight changes to experiments to get the subjects to act in a certain way. A common example given is with regards to the prisoners dilemma game. By using differing words such as "opponent" instead of "partner", the subject will have a tendency to react different ways. Another example given was when a public goods experiment was conducted in many different communities. The results that came were different in many of the communities. Communities that had a culture of sharing returned results of people acting morally and unselfish, while other communities that were not as tight-knit produced results of self-maximizing.

Small stakes
While taking part in an economic experiment, the stakes and cost of making certain decisions are very small for the subject. There is not a very large effect on the subject whether they make one decision or not in an laboratory experiment. Obviously in the real world there are serious consequences and costs when people make decisions. Therefore it is difficult to extrapolate results from laboratory experiments into the real world.

Ability for subjects to be self-selecting
Not all subjects are analyzed in experiments are selected and therefore many subjects are volunteers that are interested in the subject. These people are typically "scientific do-gooders" who have a tendency to want to appease the experimenter and "seek social approval". This obviously does not coincide with the outside world. In the real world, the people making decisions in the market place environment are extremely knowledgeable and have great experience acting in this environment. Subjects performing the laboratory experiments do not have this expertise and will not be a good representation of what is actually going on in the outside world.


========================================================
References:
[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/11/business/11ECON.html - (link requires registration)
[2] http://mises.org/story/608
[3] http://wiki.dickinson.edu/index.php?title=Behavioral_Economics_Criticism
 

Clanrickard

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Why do so many people hate liberty? Do they suffer from Stockholm Syndrome maybe?
Nobody hates liberty. What they do hate is dog eat dog economics which would take the human race back to the middle ages. Governments must interfere for the betterment of the human race.
 
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