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«Besley for inviting me, Professor Philip Booth and the Institute of Economic Affairs for allowing me to also use this as an opportunity to introduce ...»

-- [ Page 6 ] --

Obviously, these words do not confirm the validity of the economic cycle theory created by Mises, Hayek and Rothbard, and developed by Professor Huerta de Soto. But they are aspects that attest the growing acknowledgement, even if partial, of the «Austrian»

economic theory among the mainstream economics supporters.

2. The theory of dynamic efficiency. In his outstanding work, «The Theory of Dynamic Efficiency», published in 2009 in the prestigious collection «Routledge Foundations of the Market Economy» and which contains many theoretical and applied economy contributions, Professor Huerta de Soto revises the entire neoclassical paradigm, which is based on a concept borrowed from mechanical physics (the static efficiency), and develops a theory of dynamic efficiency, starting from a rigorous and detailed incursion in the history of ideas on economy and society. The main concern of economists, argues the author, should not be the allocation of given resources for given goals and the determination of the Pareto optimum in a state of general equilibrium, but the analysis of the free market process. The entrepreneurship is creative,

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always acquires new practical knowledge and therefore proposes new objectives and develops new resources.

«In fact, we believe our most important goal should not be to move the system toward the production possibilities frontier (while deeming the corresponding curve “given”) but rather to systematically apply the criterion of dynamic efficiency, which focus on the capacity of the system to continually “shift” the production possibilities curve to the right» (p. 21).

In other words, dynamic efficiency means creating new goals and means through the free exert of the entrepreneurial function and the decentralized coordination of economic activities by the competing markets.

Professor Huerta de Soto synthesized and included a whole history of economic thinking in his theory of dynamic efficiency, from the classical antiquity to Douglas North’s neo-institutionalism.

Nevertheless, the bases for his intellectual undertakings were the entrepreneurial theories, elaborated by many economists, from Cantillon to Kirzner and the theory of the market process,

a dominant feature of the «Austrian School» economic thought:

«If we perceive the market as a dynamic process, then dynamic efficiency, understood as coordination and creativity, emerges from the behaviour of human beings, who follow certain moral laws (regarding the respect for life, private property and the fulfilment of contracts)» (p. 33);

3. The recovery of intellectual and liberal economic thought traditions and the dissemination of the knowledge acquired by the «Austrian School of Economics». The work that best illustrates this direction of research is «The Austrian School, Market Order and Entrepreneurial Creativity», published in 2009 and 2010 by the Institute of Economic Affairs and Edward-Elgar Publishing.

It is a clear and persuasive synthesis of the essential principles of the «Austrian School of Economics» and distinctively profound and original thinking that could be compared only to the achievements of Mises and Rothbard, and which has been the result of its creators, continuators and predecessors.

The notion of predecessors refers to the scholars of the «School of Salamanca». Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto brings undeniable 350 NOTICIAS

evidence to point out the contributions of the scholastic theoreticians:

Diego de Cavarrubias y Leyva, Luis Saravia de la Calle, Juan de Lugo, Juan de Salas, Martín de Azpilcueta, Juan de Mariana etc.

As Joseph Schumpeter, Raymond de Roover, Marjorie GriceHutchinson, Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard had argued before and as Professor Huerta de Soto meticulously demonstrates in an erudite way, the intellectual roots of liberalism and of the economic theory are to be found long before the «Scottish Enlightenment» and the English empirical philosophy, in the Iberian and Mediterranean scholastic thinking.

The crucial merit of the author of this excellent work consists in counterbalancing the fundamental principles of the «Austrian School» and those of the «New classical» through a concise solid argumentation: action vs. decision, subjectivity vs. objectivity, practical entrepreneurial vs. homo aeconomicus, subjectivity of knowledge vs. objectivity of technical knowledge, the entrepreneurial process of market coordination vs. the general equilibrium etc.

Finally, what Mises said regarding the Austrian School of Economics remains its definite and essential trait: the Austrian School will gain notoriety thanks to its preoccupation for human action, not to the economic equilibrium;

4. The complete development of the theory of socialism or the final demonstration of the «theorem of the impossibility of socialism». In his work entitled «Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship», Professor Huerta de Soto irrefutably proves his great intellectual gift and his exquisite talent for historical, ethical, sociological and economic analysis.

Almost no piece of the enormous literature related to the discussions on economic efficiency and social ethics of the socialist system that has been produced for more than two centuries from Sismondi and Marx to Alec Nove, on the one hand, and from BöhmBawerk to Hans-Herman Hoppe, on the other hand, escaped his





critical analysis, considering the three complementary levels:

the theoretical, ethical and historical-evolutionary level.

The argument of «the impossibility of the rational economic calculation» and the argument of «the impossibility of centralizing

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relevant knowledge» elaborated by Mises and Hayek in the framework of the famous debate in the 1930s together with the supporters of «the socialist economy» are replenished with the argument of the «ethical inadmissibility» of socialism. A system that relies on violence and generalized correction, prohibiting the exert of the entrepreneurial function and replacing the market coordination of human actions with the absolute exert of commandos by the centralized planning agency cannot be either efficient (from a dynamical point of view) or just, considering the subjects’ appropriation of the achievements of their creative work. Such a system fails in reaching its expected goals: more economic efficiency than in a capitalist system, the elimination of instability resulting from the so-called «market anarchy» and the absolute equality of the income distribution.

«If economic science shows that rational economic calculation is impossible in the socialist system, and, if the theoretical analysis of social ethics shows that socialism is also impossible because it contradicts human nature, then what conclusions can be drawn from a historical-interpretation study of socialist experiences up to this point?» wonders Professor de Soto at the end of his excellent and comprehensive intellectual paper.

* * * Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto’s wide range of intellectual preoccupations is so vast that it can be overwhelming at a first glance. Looking at things in detail, we realize that his tireless work and the spiritual energies are spent, with dynamic efficiency, in an integrating vision and a unitary manner. The assertion and dissemination of the ideas of the «Austrian School of Economics»

need not only the reputation of a university department, but also the persuasion of the educated public, in the sense of supporting these ideas. For Mises, creating the vision of liberty was essential for the restoration of the free society, while for Hayek, the each generation’s rewriting of the theory of liberty was almost imperative for the invigoration of the liberal order of the big society. These are lessons that Professor Huerta de Soto always applies to his academic life and his cultural extensions and that is how his firm 352 NOTICIAS commitment to an activity, whose intermediate stages have just started to show results, can be explained: the establishment and coordination of the «Nueva Biblioteca de la Libertad» collection, begun in 1992, at Unión Editorial, Madrid.

More than 40 volumes of this collection have already been published, out of which 20 have the forward and the introductory remarks written by the coordinator. Many of these volumes belong to great liberal thinkers, such as Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, Murray Rothbard, Israel Kirzner, Arthur Shedon, Wilhelm Röpke, Edwin G. West etc.

Professor Huerta de Soto is also the editor for the Spanish version of the complete works of Friedrich von Hayek, «The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek» - 22 volumes, of which 7 have already been published.

Moreover, he personally translated a few work considered to be representative for the liberal economic thought.

In 2004, he founded Procesos de Mercado: Revista Europea de Economia Politica, a semestral journal where the scientific community has the chance to publish studies dedicated to the thorough analysis of the dynamic processes of social cooperation.

In addition, Professor Huerta de Soto is an active speaker, taking part in various academic events in Spain and abroad, such as the summer schools organized by universities, economic research institutes and intellectual reflection groups. He gave lectures and courses in: Austria, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain etc., in Europe; Brazil and Chile, in South America; USA and so on.

* * * The well deserved international recognition of professor de Soto is illustrated by his membership in various academic and professional or by the awarding of several prestigious prizes.

Thus, Professor de Soto is member of the American Economic Association, Royal Economic Society, Mont Pélerin Society, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Societé Montesquieu etc.

Recently, Professor Huerta de Soto has been awarded the «Adam Smith» Prize – Brussels and the Franz Cuhel Meomorial

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Prize for Excellence in Economic Education from the University of Economics in Prague.

Israel Kirzner rightfully expressed his deep consideration for the Spanish economist, considering him «one of the most productive and stimulating Austrian scholars in the world».

The members of this commission cannot add much to this extraordinary characterisation offered by important personalities such as Israel Kirzner, highly appreciated both by the Austrian School of Economics and by mainstream economics. We can only

draw the conclusions that are presented in this material:

«A professor of a rare talent, a scholar of an extremely wide intellectual horizon and with a deeply analytic capacity, and a writer who can make Economics to show as the best literary work, Señor Jesús Huerta de Soto ought to be named one of the last “Humboldtian” academics in the university field of economic science».

COMISSION:

–  –  –

Members:

Prof. Univ. Dr. Dinu AIRINEI Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ˇ Prof. Univ. Dr. Tiberiu BRAILEAN Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Prof. Univ. Dr. Silviu CERNA The West University of Timisoara, Prof. Univ. Dr. Vasile COCRIS, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Prof. Univ. Dr. Ion POHOTA, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

–  –  –

Los profesores Miguel A. Alonso y Philipp Bagus participaron en un simposio de Liberty Fund titulado «Business Cycles and the New Economic Reality», celebrado en La Jolla (San Diego) del 16 al 19 de Septiembre de 2010. El simposio tuvo como director al profesor Walter E. Block de la Loyola University de Nueva Orleans. El formato del coloquio consistió en seis sesiones de una hora y media de duración cada una, donde dieciséis participantes invitados por Liberty Fund se reunieron para discutir diferentes aspectos sobre la vigencia de la teoría austriaca del ciclo económico en la crisis económica y financiera actual. Cada una se las sesiones se centró en el debate de unos textos seleccionados previamente.

Concretamente, el coloquio analizó el impacto de las nuevas condiciones económicas sobre las aportaciones de la Escuela Austriaca de Economía, en base a seis artículos previamente comisionados por Liberty Fund. Los autores de estos trabajos fueron los profesores William Barnett II y Walter Block de la Loyola University de Nueva Orleans, el profesor Jörg Guido Hülsmann de la Université d’Angers (Francia), Antony Mueller de la Federal University of Sergipe (Brasil), Joseph Salerno de la Pace University de Nueva York, George Selgin de la University of Georgia (Estados Unidos), Lawrence White de la George Mason University, y el Dr. Robert Murphy del Institute for Energy Research. El debate fue muy intenso y enriquecedor, sobre todo en lo que se refiere a las discusiones relacionadas con la necesidad de una banca de reserva fraccionaria, o el incumplimiento del supuesto de neutralidad del dinero a largo plazo en las aportaciones teóricas de la Escuela Austriaca de Economía.

Los dieciséis integrantes del simposium invitados por Liberty

Fund fueron:

356 NOTICIAS — Antony Mueller (Federal University of Sergipe, Brasil).

— George Selgin (University of Georgia) — Jörg Guido Hülsmann (Université d’Angers, Francia).

— Joseph Salerno (Pace University, Nueva York).

— Larry White (George Mason University).

— Leonidas Zelmanovitz (Liberty Fund).

— Martin Krause (ESEADE de Buenos Aires, Argentina).

— Matt Machaj (University of Wroclaw, Polonia).

— Miguel A. Alonso (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid).

— Nikolay Gertchev (European Commission, Director General de Asuntos Económicos y Financieros).

— Philipp Bagus (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid).

— Richard Ebeling (Northwood University, Estados Unidos).

— Robert Murphy (Institute for Energy Research).

— Roger Garrison (Auburn University, Alabama).

— Walter Block (Loyola University, Nueva Orleans).

— William Barnett II (Loyola University, Nueva Orleans).



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