An EconTalk Podcast Listening Guide

Don Boudreaux on Law and Legislation

Listen to the EconTalk podcast Don Boudreaux on Law and Legislation and consider these questions.

1. How does spontaneous order differ from “made” order, and why does Boudreaux refer to spontaneous order as a “layered concept”?

2. Interviewer Roberts says, “markets often act as if they have a purpose”, even though this is impossible in a Hayekian sense. What does he mean by this, and why is this such a troublesome concept for many?

3. Boudreaux cites James Buchanan’s article “Order Defined in the Process of its Emergence”. To what was Buchanan responding, and what was the substance of his response? Why does Roberts offer the ex ante versus ex post distinction?

4. What is the Hayekian distinction between law and legislation? What are some examples of each?

5. How does Boudreaux define “judge-made law” (in relation to the common law)? Why does he deem this a misleading term, and what does he suggest in its stead?

6. Both Roberts and Boudreaux suggest that perhaps Hayek blurred what judges ought to do with what judges actually do. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

7. There is an expression, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Does this apply better to “law” or “legislation”? According to Boudreaux, when can a person make use of this “excuse”?

8. How does Boudreaux describe the relationship he sees between property rights and expectations in Law, Legislation, and Liberty?