DBK: I read Hayek’s road to serfdom for the first time right after getting home from a grad school trip to the Soviet Union, and it seemed to me he hit the nail on the head with his critique of central planning and totalitarianism, so I became interested in Austrian economics, and even sponsored a conference on the topic and wrote a favorable preface to the conference proceedings (see “Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics.”) Since that time, I fear that Austrian economics has largely degenerated into an inward-looking cult, with the exception of a few people who still do interesting work in areas like free banking.

I still like Hayek, though, especially his understanding of the role of the state vs. market. Take a look, for example, at my essay “Friedrich Hayek on Carbon Taxes” posted on NiskanenCenter.com. BTW, while you are at it, let me know what you think of my colleague Sam Hammond’s essay on “The Free Market Welfare State,” also influenced by Hayek.

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Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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