Hayek, Read, Mises in the Classroom

25 August 2008 at 11:46 am 4 comments

| Peter Klein |

Today the University of Missouri welcomes its largest freshman class in history, with 5,680 student expected at their desks for the first day of the semester. (Could the increased enrollment be the result of Mizzou football’s surprising 10-2 record, and Big Twelve North Championship, last season? Not as crazy as you might think.) I am teaching an undergraduate class, “Economics of Managerial Decision Making,” that focuses on organizational and managerial issues. Finding good readings is often a challenge, though the textbook options are much better than a generation ago (Brickley, Besanko, FroebHendrikse, and more.) Here are a couple of classroom resources I discovered today:

Mises is not usually considered “classroom friendly” but I have found that “Profit and Loss” (1958) works well with undergraduates. And of course Mises emphasizes the entrepreneur as the driving force behind price adjustment, an aspect missing from Hayek’s treatment (in which agents are modeled as responders, not initiators). Section I of Bureaucracy, on “Profit Management,” is also quite good, and only 20 pages.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. josephlogan  |  25 August 2008 at 3:12 pm

    It’s not entirely economics focused, but I have had a good experiene with Chris Grey’s “Very Short, Fairly Interesting, and Reasonably Cheap Book About Studying Organizations”. It covers a lot of ground.

  • 2. Brian Pitt  |  25 August 2008 at 11:40 pm

    A difficult, but readable, work by Hayek in Law, Leg, and Lib, I on the differences between orders and organizations. I find this to be eminently useful in explaining the difficulties of making decisions in organizations.

  • 3. Rafe Champion  |  26 August 2008 at 5:03 pm

    How about “Notes and Recollections” for historical background, especially if you have folk studying history in the class.

    And now there is the short reading guide to “Human Action” on line.

  • 4. Rafe Champion  |  26 August 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Robert Murphy’s study guide to Human Action can be found on the Human Action home page http://mises.org/resources/3250

    and freestanding here

    http://www.the-rathouse.com/WritingsonMises/Human-Action-Study-Guide.html

    as a community service and a companion to the “Open Society and its Enemies” study guide.

    http://www.the-rathouse.com/OpenSocietyOnLIne/AATheProjectwithIndex.html

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