© 2018

F. A. Hayek

Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy

  • Published at a time of renewed interest in the Hayek-Keynes debate

  • Highlights the interesting inconsistencies throughout Hayek’s work

  • Analyses Hayek’s role as an economist and moral philosopher

  • Outlines all of the main themes of Hayek's work


Part of the Great Thinkers in Economics book series (GTE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 1-14
  3. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 15-36
  4. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 77-118
  5. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 119-139
  6. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 159-195
  7. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 197-226
  8. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 227-256
  9. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 257-281
  10. Peter J. Boettke
    Pages 283-296
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 297-323

About this book


This book explores the life and work of Austrian-British economist, political economist, and social philosopher, Friedrich Hayek. Set within a context of the recent financial crisis, alongside the renewed interest in Hayek and the Hayek-Keynes debate, the book introduces the main themes of Hayek’s thought. These include the division of knowledge, the importance of rules, the problems with planning and economic management, and the role of constitutional constraints in enabling the emergence of unplanned order in the market by limiting the perverse incentives and distortions in information often associated with political discretion. Key to understanding Hayek's development as a thinker is his emphasis on the knowledge problem that economic decision makers face and how alternative institutional arrangements either hinder or assist them in overcoming that epistemic dilemma. Hayek saw order emerging from individual action and responsibility under the appropriate institutional order that itself emerges from actors discovering new and better ways to coordinate their behavior. This book will be of interest to all those keen to gain a deeper understanding of this great 20th century thinker in economics.

Peter Boettke is University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, at George Mason University, USA.


Economic philosophy Social philosophy Friedrich Hayek Austrian Economics History of economic thought The Road to Serfdom The Constitution of Liberty The Pure Theory of Capital Institutional Economics Neoliberalism Institutional Economics Market Theory Market Socialism Hayekian Economics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfax, VAUSA

About the authors

Peter Boettke is University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, at George Mason University, USA.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“The book under review clearly demonstrates Hayek’s contributions to systems thinking in general and to modeling of complex phenomena of society in particular. … I wholeheartedly recommend this book.” (H. I. Kilov, Computing Reviews, July 13, 2020)

“He makes a substantial contribution to both Hayek scholarship and the literature on liberalism. Although lay readers might gain much from engaging with this book, its real audience is other scholars … . this book and Hayek’s ideas deserve the broadest audience possible.” (Steven G. Horwitz, The Independent Review, Vol. 24 (2), 2019)

“Boettke’s book will, I hope, induce more scholars to take Hayek seriously and to reexamine his contributions to economic science, political theory, and social philosophy. … F.A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy, and Social Philosophy is essential reading for any scholar interested in the Hayekian tradition.” (Art Carden, AIER American Institute for Economic Research,, May 10, 2019)

“The book is highly recommended for academics concerned with technical economics as it is an invitation to talk about thinkers … . book is highly recommended not only for Hayek experts and academics interested in Hayek’s intellectual legacy, but also, and particularly, for economists engaged in technical economics. Boettke’s book advances Hayek’s epistemic institutionalism as an important constructive program, because it accentuates the relevance of institutions to the coordination of market participants, and thus to how institutions shape economic processes.” (Lachezar Grudev, Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, Vol. 12 (1), 2019)

“Impressive, wide-ranging, highly illuminating.” (@CassSunstein, Twitter, November 27, 2018)

“Boettke has beaten a path through several decades of intensive work by a great thinker to identify the most important and fruitful line of march for scholars and friends of liberal democracy.” (Quadrant, December, 2018)

“In this fine work of intellectual history, Boettke artfully sketches the historical context in which Hayek’s various ideas developed while demonstrating their analytical connection and broad coherence. … Boettke’s book is rich in its contextualization of Hayek’s ideas and its engagement with modern issues in social science and public policy. The application of Hayekian ideas spans from the 2008–2009 financial crisis, to political theories of democracy, to evolutionary psychology.” (Erik W. Matson, The Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal,, November, 2018)