Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

F. A. Hayek’s elaboration of the difficulty of aggregating diffuse private knowledge is the best-known articulation of the knowledge problem and an example of the difficulty of coordinating individual plans and choices in the unavoidable presence of dispersed, private, subjective knowledge. Prices communicate some of this private knowledge and serve as knowledge surrogates. The knowledge problem has a deep provenance in economics and epistemology. It is a deep epistemological challenge, with which several scholars in the Austrian tradition have grappled. This chapter analyzes the development of the knowledge problem in two main categories: the complexity knowledge problem and the contextual knowledge problem. It also provides an overview of the development of the knowledge problem as a concept with both complexity and epistemic dimensions, its relation to and differences from modern game theory and mechanism design, and its implications for institutional design and robust political economy.

Keywords: Austrian tradition, F. A. Hayek, knowledge problem, political economy, prices, private knowledge

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.