1974 Nobel Prize winner in Economics Sciences
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  • Friedrich Hayek

    Friedrich Hayek (8 May 1899 - 23 March 1992), born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek and frequently referred to as F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian, later British, economist and philosopher best known for his defence of classical liberalism. Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Gunnar Myrdal) for his "pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and ... penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena".


    Friedrich August Hayek (1899-1992), The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
    Includes list of selected works with links to those hosted by the Library of Economics and Liberty
    "If any twentieth-century economist was a Renaissance man, it was Friedrich Hayek. He made fundamental contributions in political theory, psychology, and economics. In a field in which the relevance of ideas often is eclipsed by expansions on an initial theory, many of his contributions are so remarkable that people still read them more than fifty years after they were written. ... Hayek was the best-known advocate of what is now called Austrian economics."


    Friedrich Hayek - The Advocates
    198x300 JPEG, color


    8 May 1899, Friedrich August von Hayek, in Vienna


    23 Mar 1992, in Freiburg, Germany


    Biography of F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), by Peter G. Klein
    Covers Hayek's life and work, and his contributions to economics, in particular to business cycle theory and the use of knowledge, prices and competition as a discovery procedure
    "Hayek's life spanned the twentieth century, and he made his home in some of the great intellectual communities of the period. Born Friedrich August von Hayek in 1899 to a distinguished family of Viennese intellectuals, Hayek attended the University of Vienna, earning doctorates in 1921 and 1923. Hayek came to the University at age 19 just after World War I, when it was one of the three best places in the world to study economics (the others being Stockholm and Cambridge, England)."
    Laissez Faire Books
    "Hayek developed fundamental insights about what's needed for liberty to flourish. He showed that essentials of a free society, like language, markets and legal customs, arise spontaneously and aren't created by government. He identified fatal flaws of government-run economies. ... Born in Vienna, Hayek read Ludwig von Mises' book Socialism (1922) and became convinced that socialism could never fulfill its promises."

    Awards Received

    1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, granted by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
    Includes curriculum vitae, prize lecture and banquet speech

    Mailing Lists

    List for scholars doing research on Hayek, "without restriction according to interest or professional affiliation"


    Founder; President, 1947-61, Mont Pelerin Society

    Web Sites

    Hayek Center for Multidisciplinary Research
    Superseded by "Taking Hayek Seriously" (known then as "Hayek Scholars' Page"). Earlier site had additional resources, including a page devoted to Karl Popper.
    Taking Hayek Seriously
    Blog with links to many resources (written, audio and video) on Hayek

    Web Pages

    Friedrich August von Hayek - Online Library of Liberty
    Includes photo, short biography and links to essays and study guides about Hayek, to audio lectures on his legacy and to various editions of his writings
    "Hayek was one of the most important free market economists of the 20th century. He was a member of the 'Austrian school of economics', taught at the London School of Economics, wrote extensively on banking and monetary theory, the socialist calculation debate, and the theory of spontaneous orders."
    Friedrich Hayek - The Advocates
    Biography and picture
    "The ideas of Austrian economist F.A. Hayek (1899-1992) had an enormous impact during the late 20th century. Among those who acknowledged his influence have been Nathaniel Branden, Winston Churchill, Ed Crane, Richard Epstein, Antony Fisher, Milton Friedman, F.A. Harper, Vaclav Havel, Henry Hazlitt, Israel Kirzner, Mario Vargas Llosa, Robert Nozick, P.J.O'Rourke, George Orwell, Karl Popper, Virginia Postrel, Leonard Read, Ronald Reagan, Julian Simon, Hernando de Soto, Thomas Sowell and Margaret Thatcher. The Adam Smith Institute named Hayek 'Man of the Century.' The Wall Street Journal included Hayek among the most influential economists of the millennium."

    Video Products

    A Conversation With Hayek and Buchanan, Part I, 1978
    The Idea Channel, 52 minutes
    "Nobel laureates Hayek and Buchanan engage in a spirited discussion of von Hayek's controversial work, 'Constitution of Liberty.'"
    Related Topics: Liberty, James M. Buchanan
    A Conversation With Hayek and Buchanan, Part II, 1978
    The Idea Channel, 48 minutes
    "Nobel laureates Hayek and Buchanan continue their discussion of von Hayek's controversial work, 'Constitution of Liberty.'"
    Related Topics: Liberty, James M. Buchanan


    Book Review: Hayek, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Jul 1999
    Review of Hayek: A Commemorative Album compiled by John Raybould, 1999
    "He soon became embroiled in a heated debate with Keynes, in which Keynes argued for monetary and fiscal 'stimulus' to end the depression, instead of Hayek's free-market solution. ... At the same time, Hayek began amplifying Mises's criticisms of socialism, explaining that a developed system of division of labor is just too complex to be controlled and directed through any form of central planning. ... This argument culminated in Hayek's most influential book, The Road to Serfdom, published in 1944 ..."
    F.A. Hayek, R.I.P., by Ralph Raico, Mar 1992
    Memorial and biographical essay
    "The award to him of the Nobel Prize in Economic Science, in 1974, was thus a fitting tribute to Hayek's accomplishments and a welcome sign of the esteem in which he came to be held by knowledgeable people throughout the scholarly world. But to an unusual degree for a thinker of such eminence, Hayek exerted a direct influence on the larger educated public as well."
    F.A. von Hayek - Hero of the Day, by John C. LeGere, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
    "In 1944 he dedicated The Road to Serfdom to 'The Socialists of All Parties,' generously presuming that 'they would recoil if they became convinced that the realization of their program would mean the destruction of freedom.' Their schemes, he argued in this sober warning, had already led to tyranny in Germany and Russia, and good intentions would not save them."
    Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992), by Peter J. Boettke, The Freeman, Aug 1992
    Lengthy biographical essay, including his criticism of Keynes and the impact of The Road to Serfdom
    "Though his 1974 Nobel Prize was in Economic Science, his scholarly endeavors extended well beyond economics. He published 130 articles and 25 books on topics ranging from technical economics to theoretical psychology, from political philosophy to legal anthropology, and from the philosophy of science to the history of ideas. Hayek was no mere dabbler; he was an accomplished scholar in each of these fields of inquiry."
    Related Topics: Ludwig von Mises, Socialism
    Friedrich the Great, by Virginia Postrel, The Boston Globe, 11 Jan 2004
    Biographical essay, including Hayek's insights on cognitive science and his influence on postmodernism
    "His 1944 bestseller The Road to Serfdom helped catalyze the free-market political movement in the United States and continues to sell thousands of copies a year. ... Citing the 'proof of time,' Encyclopedia Britannica recently commissioned Caldwell to replace its formulaic 250-word Hayek profile with a nuanced discussion more than 10 times as long. Harvard has added him to the syllabus of Social Studies 10, its rigorous introductory social theory course."
    The life and times of F.A. Hayek, who explained why political liberty is impossible without economic liberty, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay, with extensive quotes both from Hayek and others (including Keynes)
    "Hayek was an extraordinarily learned man. His knowledge and insights spanned not only economics, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1974, but also philosophy, history and even psychology. ... Hayek transcended nationality like few others in the 20th century. Stephen Kresge, Editor of The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek, which the University of Chicago Press is publishing in 22 volumes, likens Hayek's global reputation to that of the physicists Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein."
    Up From Freedom: Friedrich von Hayek and the Defence of Liberty, by Richard M. Ebeling, ama-gi - LSE Hayek Society Journal, 1996
    Opens with biographical details and then discusses Hayek's insights
    "Hayek's particular and profound contribution to the debate over the feasibility of socialism was the following argument: that the more complex a society, the more difficult it becomes for a central planner to possess the required knowledge to co-ordinate all the economic activity of that society. In a system of division of labour, human knowledge is also divided. Each member of society possesses a small fraction of all the world's knowledge."
    Related Topic: Mont Pelerin Society
    35 Heroes of Freedom: Celebrating the people who have made the world groovier and groovier since 1968, Reason, Dec 2003
    List of individuals who, according to Reason editors, have "have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action" (includes the unknown martyr of Tiananmen Square and a generic "The Yuppie")
    "Building on the work of that other great Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, and combining a respect for inherited wisdom with an understanding that freedom is fundamentally disruptive, Hayek showed that the uncoordinated actions of individuals generate wonders -- market prices, language, scientific progress -- that the deliberate designs of central planners never could."
    Best of Both Worlds: Milton Friedman reminisces about his career as an economist and his lifetime "avocation" as a spokesman for freedom, by Brian Doherty, Reason, Jun 1995
    Topics discussed include: the new Congress, flat taxes, the withholding tax, the people who influenced him, what led him to write about policy issues, libertarianism and how his political views have changed over the years
    "Another thing that helped form my policy orientation was when Hayek came to Chicago in 1950. He attracted quite a number of very able students, Sam Peltzman, Ron Hamowy, Ralph Raico, Shirley Letwin. There were quite a group of them. Hayek drew very high quality people. ... These were libertarians, all of them, though Hayek would not have labeled himself a libertarian. As you know, he always avoided the term conservative, too. He would call himself an Old Whig."
    Book Review: The Future and Its Enemies, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, May 1999
    Review of The Future and Its Enemies by Virginia Postrel, 1998
    "One of Hayek's most important and lasting contributions to human understanding has been his development of a theory of spontaneous order. Hayek argued (echoing the 18th-century Scottish moral philosopher Adam Ferguson) that much, if not most, of the social order is 'the result of human action, but not of human design.' ... Hayek also emphasized that a system of division of labor brings with it a division of knowledge."
    Related Topic: Virginia Postrel
    Dialectics and Liberty: A Defense of Dialectical Method in the Service of a Libertarian Social Theory, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Freeman, Sep 2005
    Written ten years after publication of the first of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" book trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
    "For example, Hayek, who absorbs from Menger an Austrian emphasis on process and spontaneous order, enunciated a profoundly dialectical critique of utopianism. ... Hayek railed against both collectivist and atomist viewpoints. For Hayek, since no human being can know everything there is to know about society, people cannot simply redesign it anew. Human beings are as much the creatures of their context as they are its creators. Hayek's rejection of utopianism is a repudiation of what he calls 'constructivist' rationalism. "
    Herbert Spencer: Liberty and Unlimited Human Progress, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Apr 1995
    Lengthy biographical profile, highlighting Social Statics and his acquaintance with Andrew Carnegie
    "Again and again, Spencer emphasized how extraordinary human progress develops naturally when people are free. Consider this passage from Principles of Sociology:
    ... Knowledge developing into science ... now guides productive activities at large, has resulted from the workings of individuals prompted not by the ruling agency but by their own inclinations. ...
    Spencer anticipated the work of Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek who reminded the world why spontaneous market action, not central planning, is responsible for humanity's most stunning achievements."
    Life of Liberty: Robert Nozick, R.I.P., by Richard A. Epstein, National Review Online, 24 Jan 2002
    Memorial tribute, comparing Nozick to Hayek and discussing some of the arguments he made in Anarchy, State and Utopia
    "Hayek was an economist by training who wrote against the backdrop of the failed experiment of European socialism. He championed the decentralized systems of decision-making and rebelled against the planned economy that rested on dubious social calculations. ... He believed that markets worked well because prices allowed people to signal to each other as to the value they attached to certain resources, without having to give lengthy explanations as to the uses to which those resources were put."
    Milton Friedman at 90, by Thomas Sowell, 29 Jul 2002
    Recounts some of Sowell's experiences as Friedman's student and later as friend and admirer
    "... Friedrich Hayek launched the first major challenge to the prevailing thinking behind the welfare state and socialism with his 1944 book "The Road to Serfdom" ..."
    Related Topic: Milton Friedman
    Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part 32: Friedrich A. Hayek and the Case for the Denationalization of Money, by Richard M. Ebeling, Future of Freedom, Aug 1999
    Shows the progression of Hayek's thinking on money from 1945 when he was agreeable to central monetary control to 1976 when he advocated a system of private competing currencies
    "Another 15 years later, however, Hayek's views on money and monetary policy radically changed. About a year after being awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974, he delivered a lecture on 'International Money' in September 1975 at a conference in Switzerland. In early 1976, it was published in London as a monograph under the title Choice in Currency: A Way to Stop Inflation."
    Related Topic: Money
    Private Property and the Rule of Law: Paul Craig Roberts III and The Spirit Of Friedrich Hayek [PDF], by Michael D. White, 1992
    Commentary introducing the 1992 Frank M. Engle Lecture, "'Takings,' the economy, and legal and property rights", delivered by Paul Craig Roberts at The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA, on 11 May 1992
    "Another Nobel Laureate, Friedrich Hayek (who was born two years after Frank Engle), now seems ahead of his time for his prescient recognition of the dangers of encroaching government regulation and control. He advocated a climate of freedom for the cultivation of human dignity, prosperity, and economic security. ... Hayek was a leader of the Austrian school of economics, which affirmed the philosophical and qualitative nature of economic thought, not just mathematical modeling and statistical analysis."
    The Early History of FEE, by Henry Hazlitt, The Freeman, Mar 1984
    Excerpted from Hazlitt's remarks at the Leonard E. Read Memorial Conference on Freedom, November 1983
    "It is astonishing how soon Leonard's action began to produce important results. Friedrich Hayek, in London, impressed by Read's initiative, raised the money the next year, 1947, to call a conference at Vevey, Switzerland, of 43 libertarian writers, mainly economists, from half a dozen nations."
    The Mont Pelerin Society's 50th Anniversary: The Society Helps Keep Alight the Lamp of Classical Liberalism, by Greg Kaza, The Freeman, Jun 1997
    Historical and anecdotal essay about the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society and its first meeting
    "In 1944, Hayek wrote a seminal book, The Road to Serfdom, which argued that government central planning inevitably led to the rise of the totalitarian socialist state. Marxists maintained that fascism was a form of decaying capitalism, but Hayek’s book also included a trenchant critique of Nazism as a form of socialism. After writing The Road to Serfdom, Hayek toured the United States. The trip contributed to his decision to issue a call to free-market advocates to meet at Mont Pelerin."


    Liberalism, New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History, 1978
    Chapter 9; originally written in 1973 for the Enciclopedia del Novicento; covers both the history of both strands of liberalism as well as a systematic description of the "classical" or "evolutionary" type
    "The term is now used with a variety of meanings which have little in common beyond describing an openness to new ideas, including some which are directly opposed to those which are originally designated by it ... This movement derives, however, from two distinct sources, and the two traditions to which they gave rise, though generally mixed to various degrees, coexisted only in an uneasy partnership and must be clearly distinguished if the development of the liberal movement is to be understood."
    The Use of Knowledge in Society, American Economic Review, Sep 1945
    Explains how particular knowledge is dispersed throughout society, making centralised planning impossible, and how prices empower individuals to achieve decentralised coordination
    "Fundamentally, in a system in which the knowledge of the relevant facts is dispersed among many people, prices can act to coördinate the separate actions of different people in the same way as subjective values help the individual to coördinate the parts of his plan. ... The mere fact that there is one price for any commodity ... brings about the solution which (it is just conceptually possible) might have been arrived at by one single mind possessing all the information which is in fact dispersed among all the people involved in the process."
    Related Topic: Prices


    Friedrich Hayek: A Biography
        by Alan Ebenstein, 2001
    Partial contents: Part One: War 1899-1931 - Part Two: England 1931-1939 - Part Three: Cambridge 1940-1949 - Part Four: America 1950-1962 - Part Five: Freiburg 1962-1974 - Part Six: Nobel Prize 1974-1992
    Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek
        by Alan Ebenstein, 2003
    Partial contents: Darwinian Evolutionary Theory - German and Viennese Intellectual Thought - The Austrian School of Economics - Ludwig von Mises - Money and Capital - John Maynard Keynes - From Economic Theory to Political Philosophy
    Marx, Hayek, and Utopia
        by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, 1995
    Contents: Hayekian Dialectics - Utopian Intentions and Unintended Consequences - Constructivism and Human Efficacy - Capitalism and Dualism - Marxian Dialectics - The Marxian Utopia - The Challenge of a New Left - Utopianism and the Radical Project
    The Legacy of Friedrich von Hayek
        by Peter J. Boettke (Editor), 2000
    Three volumes (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) and 73 articles from contributors including Boettke, Bruce L. Benson, Ronald Hamowy, Steven Horwitz, Israel Kirzner, Fritz Machlup, Michael Polanyi, Mario J. Rizzo and Joseph E. Stiglitz

    Books Authored

    The Constitution of Liberty, 1960
    Partial contents: Part I: The Creative Powers of a Free Civilization - II: Freedom and the Law - Coercion and the State - The Safeguards of Individual Liberty - III: Freedom in the Welfare State - The Decline of Socialism and the Rise of the Welfare State
    Related Topic: Liberty
    The Essence of Hayek, 1984
    A collection of 21 essays, chosen by Chiaki Nishiyama and Kurt Leube (editors)
    The Road to Serfdom, 1944
    Partial contents: The Abandoned Road - The Great Utopia - Individualism and Collectivism - The "Inevitability" of Planning - Planning and Democracy - Planning and the Rule of Law - Economic Control and Totalitarianism - Who, Whom? - Security and Freedom
    Related Topic: Socialism


    Memoirs of Hayek in Chicago and Rothbard in New York, by Ralph Raico, 1 Aug 2005
    Lecture given at Mises University 2005, Raico reminisces about Murray Rothbard, the forming of the Circle Bastiat, Ayn Rand, F.A. Hayek and many others in the 1950s and early 1960s


    "Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem, by John Papola, Russ Roberts, 23 Jan 2010
    Hayek and Keynes "debate" economic cycles, using rap lyrics

    Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two , by John Papola, Russ Roberts, 27 Apr 2011
    Second episode of the hip-hop music videos featuring Hayek and Keynes, this time in a boxing ring

    The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.