Assess The Significance Of Post Keynesian Economics Essay

Neo-Classical position of competition for many old ages was under changeless force per unit area from Austrians and Post-Keynesians which are philosophically distant. In the first portion of the essay characteristics and elements of Neo-Classical competition will be explored from proficient and philosophical point of position in order to supply broader position upon which Austrians and Post-Keynesians unfavorable judgments will be further developed. In the 2nd portion significance of unfavorable judgments will be assessed from different point of positions. Finally, the essay will supply a brief decision on the findings.

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Competition from Neo-Classical point of position

The standard theory of competition can be seen as the effort to construct causal dealingss associating the market construction and market behavior with market public presentation embodied in ‘Structure-Conduct-Performance ‘ ( SCP ) paradigm which can be translated into efficiency footings through applying/cultivating optimization techniques taking to the equilibrium conditions in the market. The markets in the Neo-Classical narrative are consisted of optimizing persons who trade with each other at exogenously predetermined monetary values and endowed with given agencies of production. Monetary values and factors of production are brought about by Adam Smith ‘s ‘invisible manus ‘ . The optimisation and equilibrium are closely connected and utilizing specific set of premises one can infer a benchmark theoretical account of ‘perfect ‘ competition productive of conveying about Pareto optimality. The theoretical account of perfect competition is the one where houses exhibit no market power and act as monetary value takers had been seen as benchmark against which other market constructions can be compared. Therefore, in Neo-Classical economic sciences the extent of market power is an index of fight of a peculiar market. The extent of the market power can be expressed in ability to pull strings monetary value, which can expressed by “ Lerner Index ” :

Where denotes reverse monetary value snap of demand, P denotes monetary value and MC denotes Marginal Cost. Hence, SCP attack is utile in finding on which side of the spectrum is the market of our involvement. On one side the spectrum there is a ‘perfect ‘ competition and monopoly on the other, while oligopoly prevarications someplace between depending on whether market conditions are nearer to a monopoly result or absolutely competitory 1. The Standard attack can besides easy be applied to a monopoly utilizing optimisation techniques but oligopoly market became a ‘problem kid ‘ of the Neo-Classical school. At the bosom of the job lies mutuality between challengers that exists in amiss competitory markets. Inability to manage amiss competitory markets had a important influence on Neo-Classical school as unfavorable judgments gained weight and were so endowed with strong statements. Criticisms will be largely addressed to ‘perfectly competitory ‘ market because in the Neo-Classical monopoly theory there is no room for even possible competition and so called ‘equilibrium ‘ is non to the full achieved under the premise of oligopolistic market.


Austrian School ( farther Austrians ) argue that naive and unrealistic premises of any competitory equilibrium theoretical account are intended to simplify instead that represent the world. They reject mathematical competitory equilibrium because mathematics itself can non construe many economic phenomena. Former school usage what F. Hayek ( 1945 3 ] ) called “ Pure Logic ” and mathematics itself is a small neglected in the school ‘s attack. Austrians claim that empirical observation can ne’er verify a theory and such observation regarded as a tool to excite economic experts ‘ involvement in peculiar field, or to take economic experts ‘ to re-evaluate premises and logical sequence of events. Since, equilibrium can non be observed at any point in clip Neo-Classical economic experts suggested to comprehend equilibrium as a timeless province. Harmonizing to Hayek ( 1937, [ 2 ] ) , this statement seemed to be meaningless as transition of clip is of import if we are to convey any significance to the equilibrium construct. Furthermore, it is “ blatantly false… that market conditions are at all times in equilibrium ” ( Kirzner, 1997 pp.64, [ 2 ] ) . Therefore, if the construct of equilibrium is misused as a whole, so the Neo-Classical theory of competition is misdirecting and does non capture the kineticss that are indispensable to any competitory market. Since equilibrium is brought by corporate maximization actions of persons who are perceived to be rational and act harmonizing to mathematical equations that are given to them. Hence, agents in Neo-Classical competition are mere reckoners. Austrian economic experts claim that such rigorous premises do non go forth any room for entrepreneurial activity which in their position is one of the chief drivers of competition. Entrepreneurs may possibly, merely manage allotment of resources and do determination sing labor and capital hire in the Standard narrative of competition. In kernel, a theory of competition which assumes maximizing behaviors and engages in inactive timeless province where there is perfect cognition is unable to measure behavior that actively seeks for and larn new informations. On the other manus, Mises ‘ gay agents “ endowed non merely with leaning to prosecute ends expeditiously, one time ends and agencies are clearly defined, but besides with the thrust and watchfulness needed to place which ends to endeavor for and which agencies are available ” ( Kirzner, 1973, pp.34 [ 5 ] ) .

In general, Austrians argue that theoretical account of perfect competition defines competitory procedure deceptively ensuing in “ the absence of all competitory activities ” ( Hayek, 1946, p.96 cited in Wohlgemuth, [ 8 ] ) , that theoretical accounts of oligopoly do non specify merchandise distinction and merchandising costs right, and that the theoretical account of pure monopoly does non include the very nature of possible competition and limitations applied to it. F. Hayek and I.M. Kirzner were to a great extent knocking ‘perfect ‘ competition which is at the bosom of the Neo-Classical monetary value theory for merchandise markets. While they thought of competition as emulous procedure, Neo-Classicals ‘ ‘perfect ‘ competition has been “ the state of affairs in which every market participant does precisely what everyone else is making, in which it is utterly pointless to seek to accomplish something in any manner better than what is already being done by others, and in which, in fact, it is non necessary to maintain one ‘s eyes open to what others are making at all ” ( Kirzner, 1973, p.90, [ 5 ] ) .

Post-Keynesians ( farther P-K ) retain some techniques of Neo-Classicals, such as optimisation and general usage of complex mathematics in their theories. They retain cardinal impressions of “ monetary value stickiness ” and “ nominal rigidnesss ” foremost proposed by John Maynard Keynes in 1930s. Therefore, the P-K theories of monetary value were based on premise that monetary values in the markets are non set in auction conditions as implied by Neo-Classicals, but instead monetary values are administered by houses utilizing mark-up regulation based on full or mean costs being constrained by the monetary value of similar merchandises and grade of monopoly power. Such “ Administered monetary values ” are set by administrative edict before existent minutess occur and hold fixed over some period and for consecutive sets of minutess. Some of the ulterior work of Kalecki besides represents a theory of pricing in which he to the full rejects maximizing behaviors due to uncertainnesss faced by houses and usage of reciprocal of monetary value snap of demand as a step of monopoly power. P-K theoreticians besides argued that houses ‘ cost curves are non U-shaped. They suggested that fringy cost is changeless, while mean cost per unit is diminishing. Their following unfavorable judgment of Neo-Classical position of competition which is cardinal to all non-neo-classical schools is the premise of ‘perfect ‘ cognition. P-K theories of competition left room for cardinal uncertainness explicitly described by F. Knight in 1921 and adopted a “ power as the ultimate aim of the house ” ( Lavoie, pp.99, 7 ] ) . P-Ks ‘ focal point on institutional characteristics such as distinction, gross revenues publicity, trade brotherhood power to measure the grade of monopoly power. Hence, in general P-Ks ‘ position on competition is how houses compete for laterality, non merely to put highest monetary value and have inelastic demand curve as in Standard narrative. Some unfavorable judgments are similar to those of Austrians but P-Ks provide different grounds for their statements.

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Returning to my existent subject after holding investigated Neo-Classical position on competition and unfavorable judgments proposed by Austrians and Post-Keynesians. I should wish to indicate out their ‘significance ‘ from different positions. First of all it is deserving to advert their significance to the topic of economic sciences as a whole. As we observed Economicss developed through a ‘dialectic ‘ manner where one school of idea develops a theory while the other is engaged in knocking it and conveying a theory which non merely is every bit good as the former one but in some instances capable of capturing more variables and affect better foretelling power. Therefore, Austrian and P-K unfavorable judgments are important to the topic of economic sciences as a whole.

Austrians give credits to precisely those phenomena left-out by Neo-Classicals: Entrepreneurship, Constitutional deficiency of cognition, competition as a find process. Hence, Austrian position on competition Tells us how did we acquire to state of affairs of competition in the first topographic point and its development over clip, while Neo-Classical competition theoretical accounts endowed with ‘perfect ‘ cognition assumes that “ relevant facts have already been discovered and that the procedure of competition has therefore come to an terminal ” ( F.A. Hayek 2002, translated 2 ] ) . Another significance of the Austrian theory of competition is that it does non presume given/fixed resources or penchants but instead factors that have to be discovered. Austrian position on competition possibly is closer to the world and clearly explains competition in modern capitalist economic systems, while Neo-Classical competition might look to be ‘tyrannical ‘ where houses act on the footing of bids. Austrian unfavorable judgments had peculiarly huge impact on Neo-Classical competition. Such unfavorable judgments in country of competition led to important development of new imperfect competition theoretical accounts by major Neo-Classicals such as E. Chamberlin ( monopolistic competition theoretical account ) and J. Hicks ( extensions of General Equilibrium ) . Developments in imperfect competition have besides been outside the maximization parading, where ‘Game Theory ‘ fulfilled some spreads. Large figure of plants in an effort to get away the crisis precipitated by Austrians in countries of competition and entrepreneurship, possibly, illustrates the significance Austrian unfavorable judgments had on Neo-Classical school.

While Austrian reviews of Traditional competition were hard to through empirical observation verify, P-K attack was about to the full developed on the evidences of empirical research along with pragmatism of premises. This became a important accomplishment in explicating and foretelling certain economic facets and proposing policies. Hence, P-K position on competition can possibly be seen as a important extension of Neo-Classical theoretical accounts of competition. P-K position on competition can be seen as even more important as it emphasises the function of ‘Economic Psychology ‘ , while Neo-Classical school considers psychological behavior as non a job of economic sciences field. For case, P-K theoreticians emphasise the function of advertizement and argue that agents ‘ penchants, which are fixed/given in Neo-Classical position can be manipulated by houses or other persons, which complements the world more than other positions on competition. Significance of P-K unfavorable judgments are farther boosted by empirical research. P-K unfavorable judgment of flexible monetary values that can set instantly in response to economic dazes has been through empirical observation verified to some extent as UK economic system experienced stagflation in 1930s. Hallway and Hitch ( 1939, cited in Downward 2004 [ 12 ] ) conducted empirical research which pointed out that business communities do non look to take into history fringy regulation. Many celebrated eclectic writers “ such as Koutsoyiannis refer to them as the modern theory of costs ” ( 1975, p.114, cited in Lavoie [ 7 ] ) . Therefore, P-K theory is important betterment in economic sciences view on competition due to its consistence with the existent universe informations. As some economic systems such as United Kingdom are prone to ‘stagflation ‘ P-K position on market competition has been endowed with converting anticipation and policy suggestion power.


It can be said once and for all that unfavorable judgments of Austrians and Post-Keynesians are of a large significance and this significance is ‘unquestionable ‘ . These unfavorable judgments encouraged many developments, which are now used in many mainstream Economics text edition. Therefore, their influence was non merely upon academe circles but on general public cognition every bit good. For case, some mainstream theories, such as Rational Expectations Hypothesis, quiet late started to utilize imperfect information in sense that agent does non possess all necessary information but will buy information until fringy benefit is equal to fringy cost of holding that information. Therefore, the turning significance of these unfavorable judgments was the driver of extensions of many Neo-Classical theories. The Austrian and Post-Keynesian unfavorable judgments will possibly be important until Neo-Classical economic experts find the manner to underscore their function and widen their theoretical accounts to cover with those jobs emphasized and utilised by two former schools.

Bibliography and Mentions:

  1. Carlton, D. and Perloff, J. Modern Industrial Organization, 4th edition, 2005, Addison-Wesley.
  2. F. A. Hayek, “ Competition as a Discovery Procedure ” , The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics Vol. 5, 2002, pp.9-23, translated by Marcellus S. Snow.
  3. F. A. Hayek, “ The Use of Knowledge in Society ” , American Economic Review, XXXV, No. 4, September, 1945, pp.519-530.
  4. Israel M. Kirzner. “ Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Procedure: An Austrian attack ” , Journal of Economic Literature Vol. XXXV, pp. 60-85, March 1997.
  5. Israel M. Kirzner, “ Competition and Entrepreneurship ” , the University of Chicago Press, c. 1973.
  6. J.B. Davis, “ Three rules of station Keynesian methodological analysis ” , Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 1987, Vol. Eleven, No.4, pp. 552-564.
  7. Marc Lavoie. “ Foundations of Post-Keynesian Economic Analysis ” , Edward Elgar publication, 1992.
  8. Michael Wohlgemuth, “ Economic and Political Competition in Neo-Classical and Evolutionary Perspective ” , Journal of Constitutional Political Economy, 6, pp.71-96, 1995.
  9. Milo Bianchi and Magnus Henrekson, “ Is Neoclassic Economicss still Entrepreneurless? “ , SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance, No. 584, March 29, 2005.
  10. Munir Quddus and Joseph Horton, “ Principles of Economicss: An Austrian Critique ” , The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics Vol. 5. No.2, pp. 67-77, 2002.
  11. P. Kriesler, “ Kalecki ‘s pricing theory revisited ” , Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics, Vol. Eleven, No.1, 1988, pp.108-130.
  12. Paul Downward, “ Post-Keynesian pricing theory: Alternate foundations and chances for future research ” , Journal of Economic Psychology 25 2004 pp.661-670.
  13. Thomas J. DiLorenzo, “ Competition and Political Entrepreneurship: Austrian Penetrations into Public-Choice Theory ” , Ludwig von Mises Institute web-site, ( Accessed on 11th January 2010 ) , hypertext transfer protocol: //


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