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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Book: Socialism After Hayek

Review from: Society for the Development of Austrian Economics Home Page

Ted Burczak, Denison University
Socialism After Hayek
University of Michigan Press 2006

Socialism After Hayek reignites the socialist calculation debate by offering perhaps the first attempt to articulate a form of socialism that gives significant scope to market processes and that understands correctly and seriously engages Hayek’s work on socialist calculation and the contributions of more recent Austrian economists. The first three chapters offers a very sympathetic reading of Hayek and Austrian economics as a legitimate methodological and theoretical alternative to the neoclassical mainstream. In later chapters, he works from inside Hayek’s system to offer criticisms of his work on the evolution of law and its relationship to the market that open up space for a form of socialism that does not undermine the fundamental role of the market as a discovery and coordination process for dispersed and tacit knowledge. Specifically, Burczak argues that workers’ self-management could and should replace the capitalist wage contract and that a large one-time grant from government would enable a wider range of people to participate meaningfully in the market process. Firms and consumers would still coordinate through market processes, however markets would be bounded by these two major changes. For its creative and deeply scholarly approach to Hayek and Austrian economics as well as offering the most significant response to the Austrian critique of socialism in at least a generation, Ted Burczak’s Socialism after Hayek is awarded the 2007 Smith Center Prize for Best Book in Austrian Economics.

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