Monday, December 12, 2011

How Arnold Kling Became an Austrian*


… I did not study the sacred texts [me neither]. I spent the prime of my career outside of the academy, experiencing the behavior of organizations. I saw first-hand the challenge that large organizations have in dealing with innovation. I saw the tenuous grasp that bosses have over their organizations. Above all, I saw how impossible it is for top management at firms to have the sort of information and control that is casually assumed in mainstream economic models. It is a relatively small leap from that insight to the insight that government officials also lack the information that they need to exercise the sort of control that is casually assumed in mainstream economics.

I came to Austrian economics because that is how business in the real world felt to me.

I’m not Austrian (yet), but I’d admit to moving in that direction because of – what I view as – an increasingly realistic view of human failings: I like people more, but I trust their decision-making less. That may be why I like them more: they know not what they do.

* Arnold Kling has a Ph.D. in economics from MIT, but didn’t go into academia. He worked on housing research for Freddie Mac before founding an early internet firm.

No comments:

Post a Comment