Friedrich von Hayek

Friedrich von Hayek
(1899 - 1992)

Austrian-born British economist noted for his conservative views and criticisms of the Keynesian welfare state. In 1974 he shared the Nobel Prize for Economics with the Swedish economic liberal Gunnar Myrdal.
Hayek studied law and psychology, then economics, at the University of Vienna, receiving a doctorate in 1923. After studying at New York University (1923-24), he became director of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research and then in 1931 moved to London, where he held positions at the University of London and the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1938 he became a naturalized British citizen. From 1950 to 1962 he was professor of social and moral science at the University of Chicago. Upon reaching retirement age, he accepted a chair at the University of Freiburg, retiring in 1968.

Hayek's conservative thesis was that governmental control of or intervention in a free market only forestalls such economic ailments as inflation, unemployment, recession, or depression. In 1944 he suggested in The Road to Serfdom that mild piecemeal reforms and governmental manipulations inevitably lead to the kind of ultimate domestic disaster that paves the way for totalitarian takeover by a Hitler. Hayek's other works include Prices and Production (1931), The Pure Theory of Capital (1941), The Constitution of Liberty (1960), Law, Legislation, and Liberty (1978), and Unemployment and Monetary Policy: Government as Generator of the Business Cycle (1979).

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