We believe that students from both formal economics/commerce backgrounds and those who are not formally educated but have the field as an interest are under-informed about the ideas of some of history’s greatest thinkers. The ideas of these social scientists and economists still shape the world today, and so deserve more recognition and understanding by the current generation of students coming through universities.
Friedrich von Hayek (1899 – 1992) was a Nobel-prize winning economist and one of the most influential thinkers in politics and economics of the 20th century. He is famous for his work on what is commonly referred to as supply side or Austrian Economics: an alternative to ‘mainstream’ Keynesian business cycle theory.
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.