F.A. Hayek on the Political Economy of Endogenous Preferences: An Historical Overview and Contemporary Assessment
31 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 5, 2021
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: Suggested Citation