Failure of the market, state and economics from the perspective of the financial crisis
The debate between the advocates of market and interventionist solutions, primarily based on pitting the market against regulation, has escalated as a result of the financial crisis. The objective of the paper is not only to analyze the advantages and drawbacks of alternative regulatory mechanisms in the light of the global economic downturn, but also to evaluate the modern economy from this perspective. The paper focuses on three hypotheses. 1. It is illegitimate to pit the market against regulation. 2. The crisis resulted from the violation of the principles of classical liberalism, which was precipitated both by inadequate policies and by modern economic methodology. 3. Critical analysis of the methodology and logic of the development of 20th century economic thought reveals the existence of a systemic failure of the dominant doctrines in mainstream economics.
The Coase theorem and idea of transaction costs – their significance for the development of economics
Ronald Coase drew the attention of main stream economists to the significance of social coordination in the economic system. The key role was played here by much-disputed political conclusions drawn from Coase's idea as well as by his famous theorem and the zero transaction costs theory. The study focuses on the division of labor as a starting point for analysis of zero transaction costs. From this vantage point, the best example of the world of zero transaction costs is Robinson Crusoe's island. However, very often the concept of zero transaction costs is associated with the assumption of perfect information. If we stretch this assumption to its logical limits, then there is no market mechanism and all impediments related to the central planning system disappear. This interpretation is in line with the Hayekian interpretation of the market as a mechanism for acquiring knowledge.
The article aims to present the concepts of Adam Smith which are important considering the current disputes over liberalism, as well as the challenge that is the maintenance of the world’s economic order. Firstly, the article analyses the significance of the division of labour which is perceived as a fundamental premise for transitioning from small communities and face-to-face exchanges to the impersonal exchange and the expanded social order in which relations with strangers become meaningful. Secondly, the present work indicates that Smith did not neglect the matter of justice when proclaiming the need for freedom. He believed that efficient functioning of the market depends on the political system and a man’s ethical system, and his criticism of interventionism was not directed against the state as an institution co-creating the social order, but against the act of granting special privileges to certain interest groups. Thirdly, the article refers to the concept of coordination described by Scottish moral philosophers and the so-called Smith Problem. In this context, the article presents arguments against the assumption that John Nash’s theory provided proof of the erroneous nature of Adam Smith’s concepts. Arguments in favour of the timelessness of the economic philosophy of the father of economics are also drawn from Vernon Smith’s experimental economy and the research of evolutionary psychologists.