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Arnold Kling Wants to Overthrow Neoclassical Economics

(Don Boudreaux)

I’m not sure if I’m willing to go as far as it seems Arnold Kling wants to go in overthrowing neoclassical economics, but I am sure that I’d go a very long way along the path that Arnold proposes.

For me – exposed very early on to the works of scholars such as Hayek, Alchian, Buchanan, Mises, Coase, Kirzner, Demsetz, Sowell, Knight, Schumpeter, Lachmann, and Hutt – the notion of overthrowing, or at least rejecting much of, mainstream economics isn’t so radical.  Each of the scholars who I just listed, to one degree or another, rejected substantial parts of the core of modern mainstream economics.  (Some did so more blatantly than others!)  If forced to summarize in, say, 25 words or less just what it is that I find to be most valuable in the works of these and other like-minded economists, my answer is “Economists such as these understand that economic and social reality is far more complex and important in its unobservable details than is presumed by mainstream economists.”  (Okay, my summary runs to 26 words.)

Anyway I recommend especially to you economists that you read all of Arnold’s thoughtful, thought-provoking, and valuable essay.

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