Per Bylund

Per Bylund

Per Bylund, PhD, is a Fellow of the Mises Institute and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Records-Johnston Professor of Free Enterprise in the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, and an Associate Fellow of the Ratio Institute in Stockholm.

Articles by Per Bylund

The Political Alchemy Called Modern Monetary Theory

The new kid on the economics block is something called modern monetary theory. The name is new, but the "theory" is not. Proponents adamantly claim that it is both new and a theory of economics. To make it appear this way, they dress the ideas in unusual-sounding jargon and use rhetorical tricks.

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Introduction to the Entrepreneurship Special Issue

The Austrian school of economics has been all but left by the wayside in economics (e.g., Backhouse 2000). This fate, shared with all “heterodox” approaches that do not fully comply with mainstream dogma, means Austrian theory is at best discounted by other economists. More often, and typically, it is forgotten and a relic of the past.

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Entrepreneurship in the Time of COVID-19

Per Bylund, author of The Seen, the Unseen, and the Unrealized: How Regulations Affect Our Everyday Lives has commented extensively here at mises.org, and in a variety of entrepreneurship-focused publications, about the economics of entrepreneursip. Editor Ryan McMaken recently asked Professor Bylund to comment on what challenges entrepreneurs face right now in a rapidly changing legal and economic landscape.

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Why an Economy Can’t Work without Market Prices

It has been a full century since Mises dropped the economic calculation bomb, but the argument apparently still haunts socialists. It should, since Mises managed to show that a socialist economy is not an economy at all but calculational chaos. Yet it is curious that it does, since most have (incorrectly) concluded that Mises’s argument, after decades of debate, was debunked.

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How Modern Economics Has Lost Its Way: It’s All About the “Unseen”

Economics has lost its way and the study has become both impotent and lacking in relevance. It’s easy to see how and why once we recognize that proper economic thinking takes place two steps beyond the apparent. Noneconomists typically take none of these steps, while modern economics has lost the ability to go beyond the first.

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When It Comes to Raw Power, Few Have More of It Than Central Bankers

A common retort to the claim that in voluntary exchange both parties expect to become better off (or they wouldn’t do it) is that exchanges are seldom, if ever, a matter of horizontal, equal exchange of values. Instead, any such interaction between people is ultimately a matter of their exercising power over one another. The implication, and often explicitly stated conclusion, is that there is no voluntariness, that exploitation is always present, that one party necessarily gains at the other’s expense.

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Is Free Market Economics Too “Ideological”?

Free market economics is often ignorantly dismissed for being “ideological” rather than scientific. It probably sounds smart to the economically illiterate, but it is decidedly not. It doesn’t mean nearly what most people assume it does. The word “free” in free market economics is not used as a normative value judgment but indicates an economy that is unaffected by exogenous (from the outside) factors.

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The Economy Is Not a Factory—Nor Should We Try to Make It One

A common issue with economists and political economists from left to right is that they misunderstand the market economy as simply being a set of production processes. We see this in Lenin’s statement that the Soviet Union should be run like one big factory. We see it in market socialists from Frederic Taylor to Oskar Lange attempting to respond to (and resolve) Mises’s argument that socialist economic calculation is impossible.

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Intellectual Property: Innovation Should Serve Consumers, Not Producers

Proponents of intellectual property rights often rely on one of two lines of reasoning. The first is based on the misunderstanding that the frequency or volume of innovations determine economic growth. The second is captured by the question, “So if I spend $1 billion on R&D (research and development) to bring a new drug to market, anyone should be able to copy my drug without compensation?”

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Consumer Preferences Are Harder to Measure than the Behavioral Economists Think

A recent paper in the Journal of Consumer Psychology (JCP) has started a debate on the accuracy of “loss aversion,” the idea that people are driven by fear of losses more than they are by the potential for gain. Core to behavioral economics, this idea has been rather universally accepted and been part of the awarding of two economics Nobel Prizes, in 2002 to Daniel Kahneman and in 2017 to Richard Thaler.

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