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A Conversation with Armen A. Alchian

Recognized as one of the most influential voices in the areas of market structure, the theory of the firm, law and economics, resource unemployment, and monetary theory and policy, in this 2001 interview, Armen Alchian (1914-2013) outlines the "UCLA tradition" of economics which he founded and explores the many unanticipated consequences of self-seeking individual behavior. Below are some prompts for further conversation: Childhood, Family & Education 1- How did the Great Depression influence Alchian's views and career trajectory? 2- What does Alchian regard as his most important work and why? What should a scholar focus on in your opinion, writing for students, the general public, or the profession? Why?   Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory 3- According to Alchian, do businessmen really maximize profits? Explain. 4- In his research, what did Alchian discover about the way airplane engineers measured the costs of production versus the way e...

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