Wednesday, 6 May 2015

How Austrian was Frank Knight?


Here’s your update on tomorrow evening’s seminar from our friends at the Auckland Uni Economics Group. This week they’re talking Frank Knight and asking …

Was Frank Knight an Austrian Economist?

On uncertainty, entrepreneurship and the firm --- not to mention his rejection of positivism and populism -- Knight was on the same page as the Austrians; but on capital,productivity and time preference he was anything but.
    Frank Knight was among the most important economists of the interwar period. As a theorist he was best known for his distinction between risk and uncertainty. He co-founded what became the Chicago School of Economics, and co-edited the Journal of Political Economy. His students included James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, and George Stigler.
    Given his stature and profile, his contributions have been the subject of a surprisingly wide range of interpretations – being  identified at various times as an orthodox Walrasian economist, as an Austrian economist, even as an American Institutionalist.
    In this seminar, Geoffrey Brooke considers the case for identifying Knight as an Austrian economist, adjacent to but distinguishable from Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek.
    Despite common ground on the methodology of economics, there are important differences in the economic theory proper – and part of the perceived distance between appears to be Knight’s own doing: in his frequent reviews of books by Austrian economists he emphasised the differences and downplayed the similarities.
    So what should be our conclusion?
    Come along for what should prove a provocative evening.

        Date: Thursday, May 7
Time: 6-7pm
Location: Room 040C, Level Zero, Auckland Uni Business School
                                (plenty of parking in the basement, entrance off Grafton Rd)

We look forward to seeing you there!

About the Speaker:

Dr. Geoffrey Brooke is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Auckland University of Technology, dividing his research interests between economic history and the history of economic thought. Dr Brooke is an expert on Frank Knight, so challenge him at your peril!

PS: Keep up to date with The Econ Group at our 2015 Facebook page.

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