The Goldsmiths Institute of Management Studies is hosting two research seminars in March, details below. All are welcome and no registration is necessary.

Was the School of Salamanca proto-Austrian?

Dr. Andy Denis, City, University of London.

1st March 2017 5.00 pm

Room: RHB 159

In this paper I challenge Murray Rothbard’s interpretation of the School of Salamanca as proto-Austrian. I argue that Scholasticism is in goals and methods profoundly different from any modern school of economics, and that it is mistaken to use the Austrian school as a standard against which the Salamancans are to be appraised. Further, Rothbard’s interpretation is vitiated by a misconception of the specificity of the Austrian School: while the Salamancans bequeath a lasting heritage for 21st century economists, it is a broad contribution, one for many schools, and not at all one specific to the Austrian standpoint. Finally, the natural law tradition, which Rothbard correctly identifies as a continuity between early modern, classical and Austrian thought, far from an anticipation of scientific thinking in the Salamancans, constitutes a residue of religious thinking amongst at least some Austrians.

Aggregate Production Function is not Neoclassical

Prof. Stefano Zambelli, University of Trento, Italy

14th March  3.30 pm

Room: PSH 305
Standard postulates concerning the aggregate production function are about marginal productivities and the associated demands for labour and capital. These demands are supposed to be negatively related to the factor prices, namely the wage rate and the interest rate. The theoretical cases in which these neoclassical properties fail to hold are regarded as anomalies. We compute the aggregate values for production, capital, and labour and find that the neoclassical postulates do not hold for the detailed dataset that we consider. The obvious implication of this result is that the models and analysis based on the aggregate neoclassical production functions are ill-founded as they are based on something that does not exist.