Mises, Hayek, Hahn and The Market Process: Comment on Littlechild

White, Lawrence H. “Mises, Hayek, Hahn and The Market Process: Comment on Littlechild.” In Method, Process, and Austrian Economics: Essays in Honor of Ludwig von Mises. Edited by Israel M. Kirzner. Lexington, Mass. & Toronto: Lexington-Books, D.C. Heath and Company, 1982, pp. 103–110.


Littlechild correctly emphasizes Mises’s recognition that the conditions necessary for general equilibrium cannot be met in the real world. It is not so much that the future is unrealistically certain in the general equilibrium constructs of the evenly rotating economy but rather that’s in a real sense the economy has no future. It has no future in the sense that all originative  choices have already been made: “Today does not differ from yesterday and tomorrow will not differ from today.” There is only the carrying out of chosen plans. Mises makes it clear in this passage, part of which Littlefield quotes, that the impossibility of equilibrium in the real world in no way constitutes a valid objection to the proper use of the equilibrium construct.

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