In addition to my essay, with Todd Zywicki, in today’s Wall Street Journal on Hayek’s 1974 Nobel award, I also devote my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of this award of the Prize. A slice:
With his work in economic theory regarded, by the start of WWII, as reactionary and unscientific, Hayek turned increasingly to political theory. In 1960 he published an ambitious volume — “The Constitution of Liberty” — on the nature of the good society. And in the 1970s he produced an even deeper and more profound study of the relationship between the economy, politics and law: the three-volume “Law, Legislation, and Liberty.”
Hayek’s refusal to go along with Keynesian economics did not reflect a closed-minded devotion to an older tradition in economics. Instead, it reflected Hayek’s intellectual brilliance and courage. By 1940 he surely realized that he was being cast aside by his fellow economists because of his continuing opposition to Keynesianism. Yet rather than give credit to a popular brand of economics he knew to be fundamentally flawed, he remained true to what his reason and interpretation of the facts told him about the economy.
In time, Hayek’s perseverance paid off. By the 1970s the flaws in Keynesian economics became manifest.