F.A. Hayek on the Political Economy of Endogenous Preferences: An Historical Overview and Contemporary Assessment

31 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2021

See all articles by Malte F. Dold

Malte F. Dold

Pomona College - Department of Economics

Paul A. Lewis

King's College London

Date Written: June 5, 2021

Abstract

In this paper, we analyse Hayek’s views on endogenous preferences. Perhaps surprisingly in the light of his remarks that economists ought to take people’s preferences as given, there are several places in Hayek’s economics and political economy where preference endogeneity plays a significant role. We begin by documenting those cases, providing an historical overview of Hayek’s views on preference endogeneity. We then go on to argue that in his work on theoretical psychology Hayek provides an account of the causal mechanisms through which people’s preferences can change in response to their social context. Finally, we assess Hayek’s views on preference endogeneity in the light of more recent work on the topic in behavioural economics, before going on to consider what Hayek’s analysis can add to contemporary debates in political economy.

Keywords: Friedrich August von Hayek; Endogenous Preferences; Behavioural Economics; The-oretical Psychology; Political Economy

JEL Classification: B31; B41; D91; P16

Suggested Citation

Dold, Malte F. and Lewis, Paul Andrew, F.A. Hayek on the Political Economy of Endogenous Preferences: An Historical Overview and Contemporary Assessment (June 5, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3860922 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3860922

Malte F. Dold

Pomona College - Department of Economics ( email )

Claremont, CA 91711
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.pomona.edu/directory/people/malte-dold

Paul Andrew Lewis (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

Bush House
Aldwych
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom
+44 0 20 7848 3970 (Phone)
+44 0 20 7848 3970 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/politicaleconomy/people/academic/lewis.aspx

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