Re: [OPE-L] Non equilibrium & Austrians

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Sat Apr 21 2007 - 12:41:36 EDT

> To orient behaviour, you need price-valuation knowledge of a certain
> relevant kind, and that is not the same as information as such. This
> knowledge is lodged in human subjects who select out some data and infer
> relationships among them. So it is impossible here to discuss prices without
> reference to the economic actors who are the knowers and evaluators of
> prices.
> This remains true whether it's Austrian or Marxian economics. If it exists
> at all, the law of value is not a law which can assert itself independently
> of human consciousness - it is precisely mediated through human
> consciousness.

Yes the law of value is mediated through human consciousness. But the
subjective evaluations of market participants (e.g., what price am I
willing to sell for? what price am I willing to pay?) are constrained
by budgets (e.g., what are my current costs? what are my current money

For example, the law of value can naturally emerge even when
subjective evaluations are random (which can be interpreted as giving
free reign to personal choice and individual freedom). The point is
that money is a local representation of an objective global resource
constraint, the total available social labour, which is not under the
subjective control of any market participant. The law of value imposes
itself despite what individuals may think or want.

I have not read much Austrian economics. Can anyone recommend a modern
account that explains the Austrian theory of value?


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