Peter Boettke’s announcement

As of January 1, 2010, we are changing our name to "Coordination Problem".  This name change is symbolic as well as substantive.  The term "Austrian economics" has become as much a hindrance to the advancement of thought as a convenient shorthand to signal certain methodological and analytical presumptions. 

…The name Austrian economics has been lost as a focal point for a tradition of economic scholarship, and is now a focal point for something else.  We have to let it go.

There is much more at the link.  I believe this is a wise move and I congratulate Pete for his intellectual savvy and courage.  One result of the internet, I think, is that it makes almost everyone smart more eclectic, whether in terms of substance or presentation.


As a student who, while sympathetic to some of ideas underlying Austrian thought, saw the current enterprise as not much more than pseudoscientific and cultish attempt to justify philosophically contentious notions of liberty, I am pleased by this development.

Concepts such as the coordination problem should live or die on their basis to produce better, more productive, happier societies and develop economic thought. Not because they reinforce a priori notions that the "government is too big and stealing from meeeeeeeeeeee!" Anyone who has been to an IHS seminar or poked around Tea Party message boards and (some) blogs sees too much of the latter and not enough of the former arguments.

Professor Boettke's announcement is a welcome step towards shedding these preconceptions and hopefully he succeeds in "open(ing) up the discourse to a wider set of economic thinkers."

Youngin--Contact Critical Review if you want to attend a seminar that will explore how weak philosophy undermines strong "Austrian" economics.

I guess they got tired of struggling against the true believers. About the only question is why they took so long. Most of its valuable ideas were long since incorporated into the mainstream and it had long ago died of dogma. Hopefully now they can bring some renewed thought and progress to economics.

"why does every free market economist have to choose a clever name for his blog?"

A Google search suggests that "impartial spectator" is still available.

Why don't you guys go back to the Mises Blog are be cranky over there?

Oh Boettke you're such a genius. Oh no Horowitz, you're a genius. Oh, Leeson, you're so great. Oh but not so great as Rizzo. Tyler you're awesome.

Oh whoops sorry I thought I was on Boettke's blog where everyone just admires each other's accomplishments no matter how lame and always comes to the defense. You're a genius Rizzo! Congratulations Boettke! Congratulations Tyler! You're awesome Horowitz! -Boettke's blog in one paragraph.

I find some of the comments above shocking - though I wonder whether the bragging that goes on at the relevant blog is not even more shocking, and pathetic. And please do not mix Mario Rizzo - who is in a top 10 university - with likes of Boettke, Horwitz, Sautet, and others. As far as I can recall, I've never seen Rizzo indulge in shameless self-promotion of the Boettkean or Horwitzian variety. And reading HIS papers, not to speak of The Economics of Time and Ignorance, is a rewarding experience.

As far as the change of name itself is concerned, I find it sad, and am not convinced at all by Boettke's arguments (and do not understand why comments are not open on the Austrian economics blog - sorry, I'm not going to let Boettke dictate my use or non use of the phrase Austrian Economics). When he speaks of "new economics for a new decade", I recall these words by Nicholas Kaldor:

"Each year new fashions sweep the " politico-economic complex " only to disappear again with equal suddenness ... These sudden bursts of fashion are a sure sign of the " pre-scientific " stage, where any crazy idea can get a hearing simply because nothing is known with sufficient confidence to rule it out."

'Not because they reinforce a priori notions that the "government is too big and stealing from meeeeeeeeeeee!"'

There oughta be a law against complaining about being forced into poverty and destitution.

Agreed CuriousEconomist. Mario Rizzo should not be thrown into the pathetic self-aggrandizing that occurs on Boettke's blog with Sautet and Horowitz. I owe Dr. Rizzo an apology.

What can you have on Boettke's blog but shameless self congratulations when the pillars of your research agenda are St. Lawrence University and West Virginia University. Gaining respect for Coordination Problem Economics one crappy school at a time.

"I wonder how they managed to all agree on the new name."

Har har har.

Instead of "Coordination Problem" they should call themselves "Bloggers who blog about blogging about blogging about economics."

They will never out-Cowen Cowen though. He writes about writing about writing about writing about economics better than anyone else.

I think the problem with calling themselves the "Austrian economists" is not that they are not Austrians, but they are not economists. They pine to convince others that they are doing substantive economic research. They write about the writing they do. It's sad. I feel bad. Just goes to show, those who can't do teach and those who can't teach, blog about teaching.

I like Peter Boettke, but as long as he allows Steve Horwitz to call the shots over there, they should call it the Thought Control blog, or, more precisely, the Horwitz Thought Control blob, to distinguish it from the Rizzo Thought Control blog.

I think the set of people who can be called "Austro-Keynesians" at what used to be called "The Austrian Economists" may not exceed two, if it is even that many, and it does not include any of the co-bloggers, who tend to dump on those who too openly spout the more bizarre forms of Austro-Keynesianism.

I think many people would be surprised at the diversity among the Austrians in Vienna during the time of Bawerk, Mises, Philippovich, and Weiser (not to mention Schumpeter, and many more). It does seem like Austrian Economics has been pigeonholed into the anarchist capitalism of I find myself convinced by those at the Mises Institute but I equally admire those like Dr. Boettke who seem a lot like Eugen von Philippovich.

In any case, though some may feel slighted for whatever reasons at this announcements, I think some of the comments above are absolutely without class.

ALL of that being said, the Mises Institute will time and time again win over the laymen because they make their scholarly papers easily available.

Boettke et al have a problem when they try to stimulate discussion and further economic knowledge and yet close the comment section to this thought-provoking post as well as the knee-pad deserving post on the other Pete's ridiculous new essay on medieval ordeals.

Carlos, this is what Boettke's strategy is all based on, NETWORKING! You've described his blog in correct terms, but the rest of his activities obeys to the same strategy. Look at the prizes awarded: they almost always go to Boettke's students. Why? Because those who decide to whom to award the prizes (e.g., SDAE prize, just to mention one) are Boettke himself, Horwitz, and their friends. That's it. Boettke et. al. deciding to whom prizes should be awarded, then bragging on his blog and elsewhere about his students being so good that they win prizes which he has himself awarded with his friends! The same applies to publications. Shameful way of doing science! Finally, I'm happy they abandoned the name Austran Economics.

Why didn't you just change the blog name to "The economists formerly known as Austrian"?

It's truly laughable (as well as nauseating) to see Tom Palmer complain about the tone of
internet discourse.

Terms like "Austrian economics", "Praxeology", or "Misesianism" are fine. There really is no need for others and if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

If you enjoy searching for new names for your describing and exploring the logic of market processes associated with purposive human action, then have fun. But you certainly aren't doing anything new!

David K. Meller

To follow up on EconDude's post, Horwitz also regularly makes snide comments about Mises Institute scholars,
suggesting their work is weak because it is largely published in house journals like the Quarterly Review
of Austrian Economics (this from a guy who has published in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies!). Apart from
this being extraordinarily bad form, it makes you wonder if people in the GMU circle don't want to tackle
competing ideas head-on. I guess they're too busy "engaging the mainstream" (ie, letting the neoclassicists
they supposedly oppose set the terms of debate).

"Also, to add to CuriousEconomist's post, notice that the vast majority of GMU Phd students end up getting jobs at Koch or Austrian connected departments. These accomplishments are always praised as further proof of his "great" graduate program. But, there is barely any track record of getting students into schools with no Koch influence and no previous Austrians. Another great example of how well the Boettke research agenda is going."

And the evidence for this is what? Name names or shut up.

You're not going to hear a lot of grumbling out of GMU students because the "self congratulatory circle-jerk" extends to the grad students who must worship and praise anything Boettke says in order to get funding, awards, and jobs."

And the evidence for this is what? Name names or shut up.

Look at all the graduates that get shot right back to GMU or the Mercatus Center (Virgil Stor, Sautet, Leeson). Look at all of them that have gone to San Jose State University (Schaeffer, Stringham, Powell) . Suffolk University with Ben Powell has the Beacon Hill center funded by Koch. Dan D'Amico went to Loyola University New Orleans already an Austrian stronghold. Also, check out the WVU route as well (Coyne, Leeson).

There are really only a handful of students here who are teaching at a school where there wasn't an Austrian present or Koch funding. And most of these other schools are not exactly among the top econ programs out there. (ex. Western Carolina University, Lecturer at Utah State)

If you piss off the wrong people, your job opportunities out of GMU are going to be halved. It's just a fact life. I don't see what's so "trollish" about my comments. Academia just isn't as academic as it makes itself out to be.

Speaking of Boettke's papers as Hugh Rection does, they always carry great titles, but that's only what is great in the papers. Can anyone mention a single contribution by Boettke that is quoted outside the narrow band of enthusiasts that surrounds him?

When did GWAR become associated with Austrian Economics? Or economics at all?

Anon above gets right to the point on EconDude. I am told that Leeson will joining the Chicago faculty very soon. How do you explain that given your silly theory explained in an earlier snarky post?

Arrr, matey, Pete Leeson be getting some pirates booty at UofC, arrr.

Don't feed the trolls!

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