By Arnold Kling
After taking a quiz on Austrian Economics, I wrote about my agreements and disagreements with that school.
Much of what I believe about economics is based on the concept of imperfect knowledge. Imperfect knowledge implies that as we gain knowledge, our standard of living improves. However, we still have much to learn. We know how to treat strep throat, but we do not have a cure for cancer.
As a process for learning, free markets and private property are extremely valuable. The market system provides an incentive to experiment and to adopt successful experiments. To me, this core insight is the key contribution of Austrian economics.
On the other hand, I argue that Austrian business cycle theory is less consistent with this concept of imperfect knowledge than is Keynesian business cycle theory. I suggest that a less doctrinally strict form of Austrian economics will emerge going forward.
For Discussion. Austrian economics was developed before what we think of as the Information Age. Has the revolution in data processing and communications produced an advantage for central planning or for decentralized markets?