Search

Knowledge and Coordination a liberal Interpretation

PublicationBook
Daniel Klein, Företagandets villkor, Friedrich Hayek, Koordination, Liberalism, Österrikisk nationalekonomi

Abstract

Too often in economics the understanding of how things work by and large–not axiomatically or categorically–and the idea that we generally cannot know the economic system well enough to intervene into it beneficially are done less than justice. Yet they were Adam Smith’s central messages for public policy, and they authorized a presumption of liberty, thus exceptions to liberty should be treated as exceptional and bear the burden of proof.

In Knowledge and Coordination, Daniel Klein reexamines the elements of economic liberalism. He interprets Friedrich Hayek’s notion of spontaneous order from the aestheticized perspective of an allegorical Smithian spectator. Klein addresses issues economists have had surrounding the notion of coordination by distinguishing the concatenate coordination of Hayek, Ronald Coase, and Michael Polanyi from the mutual coordination of Thomas Schelling and game theory. Clarifying the meaning of “cooperation,” he resolves debates over whether entrepreneurial innovation enhances or upsets coordination. Entrepreneurship is interpreted in terms of discovery, or new knowledge. He points out that beyond information, knowledge entails interpretation and judgment. Rejecting homo economicus, Klein offers a distinctive formulation of knowledge economics, entailing asymmetric interpretation, judgment, entrepreneurship, error and correction. This richness of knowledge joins agent and analyst, and meaningful theory depends on tacit affinities between the two, even common contacts with an allegorical spectator. Knowledge and Coordination illuminates the recurring connections to underlying purposes and sensibilities, of analysts as well as agents.

Knowledge and Coordination is an imaginative and insightful take on how, by confessing the looseness of its judgments and the by-and-large status of its claims, laissez-faire liberalism makes its economic doctrines more robust and its presumption of liberty more viable.

Klein, D. (2011). Knowledge and Coordination a liberal Interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Similar content

Ratio Working Paper No 343: Populism, Liberalism and the Quest for Meaning and Community
Working paperPublication
Karlson, N.
Publication year

2020

Abstract

Liberalism is losing ground, while populist or even authoritarian nationalist regimes are on the rise. This paper argues that the causes of the decline are, at least partly, endogenous, that a narrow focus on economic efficiency and the successful critique of socialism and the welfare state have created an idea vacuum that has opened up for these illiberal tendencies. The conclusion is that a central challenge for liberalism is to offer a comprehensive idea and narrative about meaning and community that is not socialistic, conservative or nationalistic, but distinctly liberal, to counter these developments.

The Idea Vacuum of Liberalism and the Quest for Meaning and Community
Article (with peer review)Publication
Karlson, N.
Publication year

2019

Abstract

Liberalism is losing ground, while populist or even authoritarian nationalist regimes are on the rise. This article argues that the causes of the decline are, at least partly, endogenous, that a narrow focus on economic efficiency and the successful critique of socialism and the welfare state have created an idea vacuum that has opened up for these illiberal tendencies. The conclusion is that a central challenge for liberalism is to offer a comprehensive idea and narrative about meaning and community that is not socialist, conservative or nationalist, but distinctly liberal, to counter these developments.

A revised perspective on innovation policy for renewal of mature economies – Historical evidence from finance and telecommunications in Sweden 1980–1990
Article (with peer review)Publication
Eriksson, K., Ernkvist, M., Laurell, C., Moodysson, J., Nykvist, R. & Sandström, C.
Publication year

2019

Abstract

What is the role of innovation policy for accomplishing renewal of mature industries in Western economies? Drawing upon an unusually rich dataset spanning 9752 digitized archival documents, we categorize and code decisions taken by policymakers on several levels while also mapping and quantifying the strategic activities of both entrant firms and incumbent monopolists over a decade. Our data concerns two empirical cases from Sweden during the time period 1980–1990: the financial sector and the telecommunications sector. In both industries, a combination of technological and institutional upheaval came into motion during this time period which in turn fueled the revitalization of the Swedish economy in the subsequent decades. Our findings show that Swedish policymakers in both cases consistently acted in order to promote the emergence of more competition and de novo entrant firms at the expense of established monopolies. The paper quantifies and documents this process while also highlighting several enabling conditions. In conclusion, the results indicate that successful innovation policy in mature economies is largely a matter of strategically dealing with resourceful vested interest groups, alignment of expectations, and removing resistance to industrial renewal.

Show more

Postgiro: 382621-1

|

Bankgiro: 512-6578