In an affirmation of the natural order of things, on Thursday night out at Monash University, the University of Melbourne team (composed of myself, 1st-year student Emad, and the incomparable Prof. Jeff Borland) took out a closely fought debate to determine whether the Eurozone has been a success or a failure. Across both teams there was much spirited debate over economic theory, the optimal design for policymaking interlaced with a great deal of jibing back and forth between two of the country’s most elite universities.
Amongst the many schools of economic thought, the Austrian school lies outside the economic mainstream. However, it has perhaps surprisingly punched above its weight in terms of its influence over the political and economic thought of the 20th century. Some of the most prominent and influential economists were from this particular school, such Friedrich Hayek. Hayek in particular had a large influence on the thinking of some of the great leaders of recent history such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
Known for their “laissez-faire-ness” and strong individualist and libertarian undertones, the Austrian’s ultimately advocate a much broader philosophy that reaches beyond just economics. It is perhaps this point that has given them an even wider reach and audience.