Hayek: A Collaborative Biography: Part Xv: The Chicago School Of Economics, Hayeks Luck And The 1974 Nobel Prize For Economic Science (archival Insights Into The Evolution Of Economics)
On 9 August 1974, Richard Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment on 29 April 1975, the United States scuttled from their Embassy in Saigon – optics that were interpreted as defeats for the International Right. Yet in 1975, Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative Party and in 1976 Ronald Reagan almost unseated a sitting Republican Party President. Pivotal to the turn to the Right was Friedrich von Hayeks 1974 Nobel Prize for Economic Science – awarded for having used Austrian Business Cycle Theory to predict the Great Depression: For him it is not a matter of a simple defence of a liberal system of society as may sometimes appear from the popularized versions of his thinking. The evidence suggests that Hayeks fraudulent assertion was uncovered at the University of Chicago in the early 1930s but not reported. The most likely explanation is self-censorship – for reasons of ideological correctness, fund raising and residual deference to the Second Estate. Four indirect tests suggest that free market economists have – in other instances and presumably for fund-raising motives – suppressed embarrassing knowledge: which suggests that they were perfectly capable of suppressing knowledge about Hayeks non-prediction of the Great Depression. With respect to the Nobel Prize and thus his ability to reach a wider audience, Hayek was fortune in having two loyal intermediaries: Lionel Robbins and Fritz Machlup who were and probably felt themselves to be socially inferior to von Hayek.