Friedrich HayekCHFBA (; German:[ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈaʊ̯ɡʊst ˈhaɪɛk]; 8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992), born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek and frequently referred to as F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian-British economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. Hayek shared the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Gunnar Myrdal for his "pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and ... penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena".
Hayek was a major social theorist and political philosopher of the twentieth century, and his account of how changing prices communicate information that helps individuals co-ordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics, leading to his Nobel Prize.
Hayek served in World War I and said that his experience in the war and his desire to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war drew him into economics. Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States, and Germany and became a British subject in 1938. He spent most of his academic life at the London School of Economics (LSE), the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.
In 1984, he was appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for his "services to the study of economics". He was the first recipient of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Prize in 1984. He also received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 from President George H. W. Bush. In 2011, his article "The Use of Knowledge in Society" was selected as one of the top 20 articles published in The American Economic Review during its first 100 years.
|A timeline of Hayek|
1899: F. A. Hayek born in Vienna.
1917: Hayek joins the Austro-Hungarian Army.
1921: Hayek earns a doctorate in law from the University of Vienna.
1921: Ludwig von Mises hires Hayek in an office dealing with finance issues.
1923: Hayek earns another doctorate in political science.
1927: Mises and Hayek found the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research.
1928: Hayek first meets John Maynard Keynes at a conference in London.
1931: Hayek moves to the London School of Economics at the invitation of Lionel Robbins.
1931–32: Hayek becomes a critic of Keynes, writing critical reviews of his books and exchanging letters in The Times on the merits of government spending versus private investment.
1936: Keynes publishes The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.
1936: At the London Economic Club, Hayek gives a talk on the key role of information in economics.
1938: Hayek becomes a British citizen.
1944: Hayek publishes The Road to Serfdom.
1945–46: Hayek lectures across the United States and becomes Visiting Professor at Stanford University.
1947: Hayek founds the Mont Pelerin Society, aiming to keep liberty alive in a postwar world.
1952: Hayek publishes The Counter-Revolution of Science and The Sensory Order.
1956: Antony Fisher founds the free-market Institute of Economic Affairs, having been inspired by Hayek.
1960: Publication of The Constitution of Liberty.
1962: Hayek moves to the University of Freiburg, West Germany. His ideas on unplanned orders and other subjects are published in Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1967). He begins work on Law, Legislation and Liberty.
1972: As prices soar in Europe and the US, Hayek publishes a passionate critique of inflation and the Keynesian policies that cause it in A Tiger by the Tail. He goes on to propose solutions in Choice in Currency (1976) and The Denationalisation of Money (1976).
1973: Death of Mises
1974: Hayek is awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize.
1975: Through an introduction by the Institute of Economic Affairs, the British Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher meets Hayek for the first time, and is greatly impressed.
1988: Publication of The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism.
1991: Hayek is awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1992: Hayek dies in Freiburg.
Friedrich August von Hayek was born in Vienna to August von Hayek and Felicitas Hayek (née von Juraschek). Friedrich's father, from whom he received his middle name, was born in 1871, also in Vienna. He was a medical doctor employed by the municipal ministry of health, with a passion for botany, about which he wrote a number of monographs. August von Hayek was also a part-time botany lecturer at the University of Vienna. Friedrich's mother was born in 1875 to a wealthy, conservative, land-owning family. As her mother died several years prior to Friedrich's birth, Felicitas received a significant inheritance, which provided as much as half of her and August's income during the early years of their marriage. Hayek was the oldest of three brothers, Heinrich (1900–1969) and Erich (1904–1986), who were one-and-a-half and five years younger than him.
His father's career as a university professor influenced Friedrich's goals later in life. Both of his grandfathers, who lived long enough for Friedrich to know them, were scholars. Franz von Juraschek was a leading economist in Austria-Hungary and a close friend of Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, one of the founders of the Austrian School of Economics. Friedrich's paternal grandfather, Gustav Edler von Hayek, taught natural sciences at the Imperial Realobergymnasium (secondary school) in Vienna. He wrote systematic works in biology, some of which are relatively well known.
On his mother's side, Hayek was second cousin to the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. His mother often played with Wittgenstein's sisters, and had known Ludwig well. As a result of their family relationship, Hayek became one of the first to read Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus when the book was published in its original German edition in 1921. Although Hayek met Wittgenstein on only a few occasions, Hayek said that Wittgenstein's philosophy and methods of analysis had a profound influence on his own life and thought. In his later years, Hayek recalled a discussion of philosophy with Wittgenstein, when both were officers during World War I. After Wittgenstein's death, Hayek had intended to write a biography of Wittgenstein and worked on collecting family materials; and he later assisted biographers of Wittgenstein.
Hayek displayed an intellectual and academic bent from a very young age. He read fluently and frequently before going to school. At his father's suggestion, Hayek, as a teenager, read the genetic and evolutionary works of Hugo de Vries and the philosophical works of Ludwig Feuerbach. In school Hayek was much taken by one instructor's lectures on Aristotle's ethics. In his unpublished autobiographical notes, Hayek recalled a division between him and his younger brothers who were only a few years younger than him, but he believed that they were somehow of a different generation. He preferred to associate with adults.
In 1917, Hayek joined an artillery regiment in the Austro-Hungarian Army and fought on the Italian front. Much of Hayek's combat experience was spent as a spotter in an aeroplane. Hayek suffered damage to his hearing in his left ear during the war, and was decorated for bravery. During this time Hayek also survived the 1918 flu pandemic.
Hayek then decided to pursue an academic career, determined to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war. Hayek said of his experience, "The decisive influence was really World War I. It's bound to draw your attention to the problems of political organization." He vowed to work for a better world.
Education and career
At the University of Vienna, Hayek earned doctorates in law and political science in 1921 and 1923 respectively; and he also studied philosophy, psychology, and economics. For a short time, when the University of Vienna closed, Hayek studied in Constantin von Monakow's Institute of Brain Anatomy, where Hayek spent much of his time staining brain cells. Hayek's time in Monakow's lab, and his deep interest in the work of Ernst Mach, inspired Hayek's first intellectual project, eventually published as The Sensory Order (1952). It located connective learning at the physical and neurological levels, rejecting the "sense data" associationism of the empiricists and logical positivists. Hayek presented his work to the private seminar he had created with Herbert Furth called the Geistkreis.
During Hayek's years at the University of Vienna, Carl Menger's work on the explanatory strategy of social science and Friedrich von Wieser's commanding presence in the classroom left a lasting influence on him. Upon the completion of his examinations, Hayek was hired by Ludwig von Mises on the recommendation of Wieser as a specialist for the Austrian government working on the legal and economic details of the Treaty of Saint Germain. Between 1923 and 1924 Hayek worked as a research assistant to Prof. Jeremiah Jenks of New York University, compiling macroeconomic data on the American economy and the operations of the US Federal Reserve.
Initially sympathetic to Wieser's democratic socialism, Hayek's economic thinking shifted away from socialism and toward the classical liberalism of Carl Menger after reading von Mises' book Socialism. It was sometime after reading Socialism that Hayek began attending von Mises' private seminars, joining several of his university friends, including Fritz Machlup, Alfred Schutz, Felix Kaufmann, and Gottfried Haberler, who were also participating in Hayek's own, more general, private seminar. It was during this time that he also encountered and befriended noted political philosopher Eric Voegelin, with whom he retained a long-standing relationship.
With the help of Mises, in the late 1920s Hayek founded and served as director of the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research, before joining the faculty of the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1931 at the behest of Lionel Robbins. Upon his arrival in London, Hayek was quickly recognised as one of the leading economic theorists in the world, and his development of the economics of processes in time and the co-ordination function of prices inspired the ground-breaking work of John Hicks, Abba Lerner, and many others in the development of modern microeconomics.
In 1932, Hayek suggested that private investment in the public markets was a better road to wealth and economic co-ordination in Britain than government spending programs, as argued in an exchange of letters with John Maynard Keynes, co-signed with Lionel Robbins and others in The Times. The nearly decade long deflationary depression in Britain dating from Churchill's decision in 1925 to return Britain to the gold standard at the old pre-war, pre-inflationary par was the public policy backdrop for Hayek's dissenting engagement with Keynes over British monetary and fiscal policy. Well beyond that single public conflict, regarding the economics of extending the length of production to the economics of labour inputs, Hayek and Keynes disagreed on many essential economics matters. Their economic disagreements were both practical and fundamental in nature. Keynes called Hayek's book, Prices and Production, "one of the most frightful muddles I have ever read", famously adding, "It is an extraordinary example of how, starting with a mistake, a remorseless logician can end in Bedlam." Many other notable economists have also been staunch critics of Hayek, including John Kenneth Galbraith and later, Paul Krugman, who wrote: "the Hayek thing is almost entirely about politics rather than economics".
Notable economists who studied with Hayek at the LSE in the 1930s and 1940s include Arthur Lewis, Ronald Coase, William Baumol, John Kenneth Galbraith, Leonid Hurwicz, Abba Lerner, Nicholas Kaldor, George Shackle, Thomas Balogh, L. K. Jha, Arthur Seldon, Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, and Oskar Lange. Some were supportive and some were critical of his ideas. Hayek also taught or tutored many other LSE students, including David Rockefeller.
Unwilling to return to Austria after the Anschluss brought it under the control of Nazi Germany in 1938, Hayek remained in Britain. Hayek and his children became British subjects in 1938. He held this status for the remainder of his life, but he did not live in Great Britain after 1950. He lived in the United States from 1950 to 1962 and then mostly in Germany but also briefly in Austria.
The Road to Serfdom
Friedrich von Hayek Biography
Friedrich von Hayek was a Nobel Prize winning Austrian-British economist and philosopher, best known for his defense of classical liberalism. Check out this biography to know about his childhood, family life and achievements.
Friedrich von Hayek was a Nobel Prize winning Austrian-British economist and philosopher, best known for his defense of classical liberalism. Born towards the end of the 19th century in Vienna, he received his education at the University of Vienna. He began his academic career at his alma mater before moving to London School of economics where he taught for almost two decades. A staunch supporter of classical liberalism, he soon got embroiled in an academic conflict with Lord Keynes over the latterâs support of welfare state and totalitarian socialism, writing number of papers in his defense. Meanwhile in 1937, he became a British citizen and remained so for rest of his life in spite of the fact on leaving Great Britain in 1950, he never returned to the country. He spent rest of his career at the University of Chicago, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg and University of Salzburg, working tirelessly till the end on a wide variety of topics. Friedrich shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics with Gunnar Myrdal.
Friedrich von Hayek
Childhood & Early Life
- Friedrich August von Hayek was born on 8 May 1899, in Vienna, into an academically distinguished family. His father, August von Hayek, was a physician with a passion for botany. Employed with the municipality, he also taught at Hochschule fÃ¼r Bodenkultur and is remembered for his role in phytogeographical investigations.Friedrichâs mother, Felicitas Hayek nÃ©e von Juraschek, was the daughter of a leading economist and a statistician. She came from a wealthy, land-owning family, inheriting substantial amount on the death of her mother.Friedrich was the eldest of his parentsâ three children; having two younger brothers named Heinrich and Erich. From his childhood, he displayed an intellectual bent of mind. Although his brothers were slightly younger than him, he never felt at ease with them, preferring to interact with elders.He was also far advanced in academics, and learnt to read fluently before he reached school going age. During his teens, he enjoyed reading the works of Hugo de Vries and Ludwig Feuerbach. A lecture on Aristotelian ethics at school also impressed him a lot.In 1917, during the later stages of World War I, Hayekâs education was interrupted for a brief period, when he joined the Austro-Hungarian army as an artillery officer on the Piave front in northern Italy. During the war, he was decorated for bravery, but suffered damage in left ear.The war played a decisive influence on his later career. Determined not to let such wars happen again, he enrolled at the University of Vienna in 1918 with both law and psychology; but later concentrated on law, becoming doctor juris (Dr. Jur.) in 1921.In 1921, Hayek founded âGeistkreisâ along with few other social scientists such as Machlup, Gottfried von Haberler, and Oskar Morgenstern. Young and bright, more than half of the group members later became internationally famous for their contribution to theIR respective field.In 1923, he acquired his second doctorate; this time on political economy. During his final year, Austrian economist, Friedrich von Wieser, was one of his professors and young Hayek was highly influenced by him. Another person to influence him was Carl Menger, known for explanatory strategy of social science.Soon after completion of his final examination, Hayek acquired a part time job on the recommendation of Wieser, working on the legal and economic details of the Treaty of Saint Germain. Here, he met Ludwig von Mises, a monetary theorist, who later became his mentor.In March 1923, Hayek went to New York for his post graduate work, remaining there till June 1924. Working as a research assistant to Prof. Jeremiah Jenks of New York University, he helped to compile data on the operations of the US Federal Reserve.
Continue Reading Below
- On his return to Vienna in the middle of 1924, Friedrich Von Hayek took up a job at a civil service office. Sometime now, he read âSocialismâ by Ludwig von Mises and became more sympathetic to Carl Mengerâs classical liberalism than towards Wieserâs democratic socialism. Subsequently, he joined Ludwigâs academic circle.He was also greatly stimulated by the advanced techniques, developed in the recent years, for forecasting industrial fluctuations and analyzing time series. He now started publishing number of articles in these fields and also arranging number of private seminars.In 1927, he helped Mises to set up âÃsterreichisches Institut fÃ¼r Konjunkturforschungâ (Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research), eventually becoming its first Director, a position he held until he left for London in 1931. Today, with a pool of forty economists, it is the largest research institute in Austria.In 1929, on completion of his habilitation, Hayek joined University of Vienna as a lecturer. In the same year, he had his first book, âMonetary Theory and the Trade Cycleâ published.In January 1931, he gave a series of lectures at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Later in the same year, these lectures were published as âPrices and Productionâ and more importantly, led to his appointment as Tooke Professor of Economic Science and Statistics in the University of London.
- In late 1931, Hayek took up his position at the London School of Economics (LSE). Very quickly, he gained recognition as an eminent economist, at the same time becoming embroiled in a debate with John Maynard Keynes of Cambridge University.While Keynes preached increased government expenditures and lower taxes to stimulate demand and pull the global economy out of the Depression, Hayek suggested that private investment in the public markets was a better road to prosperity. He also wrote a long and critical review of Keynesâ book, âA Treatise on Moneyâ (1930). In response Keynes vehemently attacked Hayekâs âPrices and Productionâ (1931).Very soon, other economists got embroiled into the debate, many of them criticizing both of them, causing them to rethink their theory. In 1936, Keynes had his most famous book, âThe General Theory of Employment, Interest and Moneyâ published while Hayek took five more years to publish his.Hayek remained with the LSE till 1950. Some of the would-be famous economists who studied with him during this period were Arthur Lewis, Ronald Coase, John Kenneth Galbraith, Abba Lerner, Nicholas Kaldor, George Shackle, Thomas Balogh, Vera Smith, L. K. Jha, Arthur Seldon, Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, and Oskar Lange.He also continued writing, producing number of papers and books. Among them, most famous were âMonetary Nationalism and International Stability' (1937), 'Profits, Interest & Investment' (1939), âThe Pure Theory of Capitalâ (1941), 'The Road to Serfdom' (1944) and 'Individualism and Economic Order' (1948).Among his works during this period, âThe Pure Theory of Capitalâ was in reply to Keynes attacks. But due to the on-going war, it failed to attract as much notice as Keynesâ âThe General Theory of Employment, Interest and Moneyâ did.
- In 1950, on receiving an invitation from Robert Hutchins, the President of the University of Chicago, Friedrich von Hayek left LSE to join Chicago University. His contentious divorce from his first wife, which did not go down well with many of his colleagues, might have also played a role in this.At that time, a conflict was going on between Hutchins and the Department of Economics. As Hayekâs name was proposed by Hutchins, it was rejected by the department. Therefore In Chicago, Hayek received his appointment as the Professor of Social and Moral Science at the Committee on Social Thought.Here, he mostly worked on the philosophy of science, economics, political philosophy, and the history of ideas, arranging many faculty seminars that were attended by many notable personalities. Many well-known scholars also cooperated with him in his research projects.He remained in Chicago until 1962, producing many valuable papers. Among them, most important works are âThe Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason', 'The Sensory Order: An Inquiry into the Foundations of Theoretical Psychology', both published in 1952 and 'The Constitution of Libertyâ, published in 1960.
- In 1962, Hayek left University of Chicago to join Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, located at Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, as a Professor of Economic Policy, remaining there until his retirement in 1968. He later called his years at Freiburg, the most fruitful.At Freiburg, Hayek started working on âLegislation and Liberty: A New Statement of the Liberal Principles of Justice and Political Economyâ, a work that would take years to complete. In it, he further developed the philosophical principles he had earlier discussed in âThe Road to Serfdomâ or âThe Constitution of Libertyâ.In 1968, he joined University of California, Los Angeles as a visiting professor for one year. Thereafter in 1969, he joined University of Salzburg, Austria, remaining there till 1977. All the while he continued working on âLegislation and Libertyâ, publishing it in three volumes in 1973, 1976 and 1979 respectively.In 1980, he started working on what would be his last work, âThe Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialismâ. In it, he refuted the theory of socialism. Unfortunately, he became ill before he could complete it and therefore the work was edited by William Warren Bartley.
- Friedrich von Hayek is best remembered for his 1944 book, âThe Road to Serfdomâ. In this book, he attacked socialism, arguing that, âEconomic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest, it is the control of the means for all our ends.â Over two million copies of the book have been sold and even today, the book is cited by scholars and commentators.
Awards & Achievements
- In 1974, Friedrich von Hayek was co-awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his âpioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena". Gunnar Myrdal was his co-recipient.
Personal Life & Legacy
- In August 1926, Hayek married Helen Berta Maria von Fritsch, at that time a secretary at the civil service office where Hayek was working. They had two children; Christina Maria Felicitas, Lorenz Josef Heinrich. Later, he claimed that he was never happy with her.Hayek was actually in love with his cousin Helene Bitterlich. When she got married to somebody else Hayek married Berta Maria on the rebound. Sometime around 1945-1946, he began an affair with Bitterlich, keeping it a secret until 1948.Initially Helen Berta Maria refused to grant him the divorce. Nonetheless, it took place in July 1950, after he had almost arm twisted her and their children into accepting it. He married Helene Bitterlich just a few weeks after this. After his divorce, he rarely visited his children.Friedrich von Hayek died on 23 March 1992, in Freiburg, Germany.Although in the initial years, his theories on free market did not find many takers, from 1980s onwards, especially after the fall of the Soviet Block, his contributions started being reassessed and today there are considerable amount of secondary literature concerning his works.Hayek Society at the London School of Economics and University of Oxford as well as Hayek Fund for Scholar at Institute of Human Studies (California, USA) have been named in his honor. He also has an investment portfolio, âThe Hayek Fundâ, named after him.George Mason University has instituted an economics essay award named in his honor.Each year, Ludwig von Mises Institute holds a lecture, named after Hayek, at its Austrian Scholars Conference. Here notable academics are invited to speak on topics relating to Hayek's contributions.
See the events in life of Friedrich Von Hayek in Chronological Order
Translate Wiki to Spanish, French, Hindi, Portuguese
- Friedrich von Hayek Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- May 25, 2017
Quotes By Friedrich Von Hayek
Famous as: Economist
Birth Date:May 8, 1899
Died At Age: 92
Sun Sign: Taurus
Born in: Vienna, Austria
Spouses/Partners: Berta Maria von Fritsch, Helene Bitterlich
children: Christina Maria Felicitas, Lorenz Josef Heinrich
Died on:March 23, 1992
place of death: Freiburg im Breisgau
education: New York University, University of Vienna
Pictures of Friedrich Von Hayek