Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus
Chapter 41: Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992)
Ludwig Van den Hauwe Biographical note Friedrich August von Hayek, a central ﬁgure in twentieth-century economics and a representative of the Austrian tradition, 1974 Nobel laureate in economics, was born on 8 May 1899, in Vienna, then the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Following military service as an artillery ofﬁcer in the First World War, Hayek entered the University of Vienna, where he attended the lectures of Friedrich von Wieser and obtained doctorates in jurisprudence (1921) and political science (1923). After spending a year in New York (1923–24), Hayek returned to Vienna where he joined the famous Privatseminar conducted by Ludwig von Mises. In 1927 Hayek became the ﬁrst director of the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research. On an invitation from Lionel Robbins, he delivered four lectures entitled ‘Prices and production’ at the London School of Economics in 1931 and subsequently accepted the Tooke Chair. He was a vigorous participant in the heated debates that raged in England during the 1930s concerning monetary, capital and business cycle theories. Hayek was to become the only intellectual opponent of John Maynard Keynes (see Caldwell, 1995). As an outgrowth of his participation in the debate over the possibility of economic calculation under socialism (Hayek, 1948 , 119–208), the focus of Hayek’s research shifted during the late 1930s and early 1940s to the role of knowledge and discovery in market processes, and to the methodological underpinnings of the Austrian tradition, particularly subjectivism and methodological individualism. In 1950, Hayek moved to...
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