Business Cycles

The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek

Book 7
University of Chicago Press
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In the years following its publication, F. A. Hayek’s pioneering work on business cycles was regarded as an important challenge to what was later known as Keynesian macroeconomics. Today, as debates rage on over the monetary origins of the current economic and financial crisis, economists are once again paying heed to Hayek’s thoughts on the repercussions of excessive central bank interventions. The latest editions in the University of Chicago Press’s ongoing series The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, these volumes bring together Hayek’s work on what causes periods of boom and bust in the economy. Moving away from the classical emphasis on equilibrium, Hayek demonstrates that business cycles are generated by the adaptation of the structure of production to changes in relative demand. Thus, when central banks artificially lower interest rates, the result is a misallocation of capital and the creation of asset bubbles and additional instability. Business Cycles, Part I contains Hayek’s two major monographs on the topic: Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle and Prices and Production. Reproducing the text of the original 1933 translation of the former, this edition also draws on the original German, as well as more recent translations. For Prices and Production, a variorum edition is presented, incorporating the 1931 first edition and its 1935 revision. Business Cycles, Part II assembles a series of Hayek’s shorter papers on the topic, ranging from the 1920s to 1981. In addition to bringing together Hayek’s work on the evolution of business cycles, the two volumes of Business Cycles also include extensive introductions by Hansjoerg Klausinger, placing the writings in intellectual context—including their reception and the theoretical debates to which they contributed—and providing background on the evolution of Hayek’s thought.
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More by Friedrich Hayek

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An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and general readers for half a century. Originally published in 1944—when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program—The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

First published by the University of Chicago Press on September 18, 1944, The Road to Serfdom garnered immediate, widespread attention. The first printing of 2,000 copies was exhausted instantly, and within six months more than 30,000 books were sold. In April 1945, Reader’s Digest published a condensed version of the book, and soon thereafter the Book-of-the-Month Club distributed this edition to more than 600,000 readers. A perennial best seller, the book has sold 400,000 copies in the United States alone and has been translated into more than twenty languages, along the way becoming one of the most important and influential books of the century.

With this new edition, The Road to Serfdom takes its place in the series The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. The volume includes a foreword by series editor and leading Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell explaining the book's origins and publishing history and assessing common misinterpretations of Hayek's thought. Caldwell has also standardized and corrected Hayek's references and added helpful new explanatory notes. Supplemented with an appendix of related materials ranging from prepublication reports on the initial manuscript to forewords to earlier editions by John Chamberlain, Milton Friedman, and Hayek himself, this new edition of The Road to Serfdom will be the definitive version of Hayek's enduring masterwork.
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Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jan 27, 2012
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780226320465
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Economics / Macroeconomics
Business & Economics / General
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In the years following its publication, F. A. Hayek’s pioneering work on business cycles was regarded as an important challenge to what was later known as Keynesian macroeconomics. Today, as debates rage on over the monetary origins of the current economic and financial crisis, economists are once again paying heed to Hayek’s thoughts on the repercussions of excessive central bank interventions. The latest editions in the University of Chicago Press’s ongoing series The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, these volumes bring together Hayek’s work on what causes periods of boom and bust in the economy. Moving away from the classical emphasis on equilibrium, Hayek demonstrates that business cycles are generated by the adaptation of the structure of production to changes in relative demand. Thus, when central banks artificially lower interest rates, the result is a misallocation of capital and the creation of asset bubbles and additional instability. Business Cycles, Part I contains Hayek’s two major monographs on the topic: Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle and Prices and Production. Reproducing the text of the original 1933 translation of the former, this edition also draws on the original German, as well as more recent translations. For Prices and Production, a variorum edition is presented, incorporating the 1931 first edition and its 1935 revision. Business Cycles, Part II assembles a series of Hayek’s shorter papers on the topic, ranging from the 1920s to 1981. In addition to bringing together Hayek’s work on the evolution of business cycles, the two volumes of Business Cycles also include extensive introductions by Hansjoerg Klausinger, placing the writings in intellectual context—including their reception and the theoretical debates to which they contributed—and providing background on the evolution of Hayek’s thought.
In 1931, when the young F. A. Hayek challenged the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, sixteen years his senior, and one of the world's leading economists, he sparked a spirited debate that would influence economic policy in democratic countries for decades. Their extensive exchange lasted until Keynes's death in 1946, and is reprinted in its entirety in this latest volume of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek.

When the journal Economica published a review of Keynes's Treatise on Money by Hayek in 1931, Keynes's response consisted principlally of an attack on Hayek's own work on monetary theory, Prices and Production. Conducted almost entirely in economics journals, the battle that followed revealed two very different responses to a world in economic crisis. Keynes sought a revision of the liberal political order—arguing for greater government intervention in the hope of protecting against the painful fluctuations of the business cycle. Hayek instead warned that state involvement would cause irreparable damage to the economy.

This volume begins with Hayek's 1963 reminiscence "The Economics of the 1930s as Seen from London," which has never been published before. The articles, letters, and reviews from journals published in the 1930s are followed by Hayek's later reflections on Keynes's work and influence. The Introduction by Bruce Caldwell puts the debate in context, providing detailed information about the economists in Keynes's circle at Cambridge, their role in the acceptance of his ideas, and the ways in which theory affected policy during the interwar period.

Caldwell calls the debate between Hayek and Keynes "a battle for the minds of the rising generation of British-trained economists." There is no doubt that Keynes won the battle during his lifetime. Now, when many of Hayek's ideas have been vindicated by the collapse of collectivist economies and the revival of the free market around the world, this book clarifies Hayek's work on monetary theory—formed in heated opposition to Keynes—and illuminates his efforts to fight protectionism in an age of economic crisis.

F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and the principal proponent of classical liberal thought in the twentieth century. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.
Throughout the twentieth century socialism and war were intimately connected. The unprecedented upheavals wrought by the two world wars and the Great Depression provided both opportunity and impetus for a variety of socialist experiments. This volume in The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek documents the evolution of Hayek's thought on socialism and war during the dark decades of the 1930s and 1940s.

Opening with Hayek's arguments against market socialism, the volume continues with his writings on the economics of war, many in response to the proposals made in John Maynard Keynes's famous pamphlet, How to Pay for the War. The last section presents articles that anticipated The Road to Serfdom, Hayek's classic meditation on the dangers of collectivism. An appendix contains a number of topical book reviews written by Hayek during this crucial period, and a masterful introduction by the volume editor, Bruce Caldwell, sets Hayek's work in context.

Socialism and War will interest not just fans of The Road to Serfdom, but anyone concerned with the ongoing debates over the propriety of government intervention in the economy.

"When he wrote The Road to Serfdom, [Hayek's] was a voice in the wilderness. Now the fight [has] been taken up by people all over the world, by institutions and movements, and the ideas that seemed so strange to many in 1944 can be found from scholarly journals to television programs."—Thomas Sowell, Forbes

"Intellectually [Hayek] towers like a giant oak in a forest of saplings."—Chicago Tribune

"Each new addition to The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, the University of Chicago's painstaking series of reissues and collections, is a gem."—Liberty on Volume IX of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek
In the years following its publication, F. A. Hayek’s pioneering work on business cycles was regarded as an important challenge to what was later known as Keynesian macroeconomics. Today, as debates rage on over the monetary origins of the current economic and financial crisis, economists are once again paying heed to Hayek’s thoughts on the repercussions of excessive central bank interventions. The latest editions in the University of Chicago Press’s ongoing series The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, these volumes bring together Hayek’s work on what causes periods of boom and bust in the economy. Moving away from the classical emphasis on equilibrium, Hayek demonstrates that business cycles are generated by the adaptation of the structure of production to changes in relative demand. Thus, when central banks artificially lower interest rates, the result is a misallocation of capital and the creation of asset bubbles and additional instability. Business Cycles, Part I contains Hayek’s two major monographs on the topic: Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle and Prices and Production. Reproducing the text of the original 1933 translation of the former, this edition also draws on the original German, as well as more recent translations. For Prices and Production, a variorum edition is presented, incorporating the 1931 first edition and its 1935 revision. Business Cycles, Part II assembles a series of Hayek’s shorter papers on the topic, ranging from the 1920s to 1981. In addition to bringing together Hayek’s work on the evolution of business cycles, the two volumes of Business Cycles also include extensive introductions by Hansjoerg Klausinger, placing the writings in intellectual context—including their reception and the theoretical debates to which they contributed—and providing background on the evolution of Hayek’s thought.
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