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Hayek and a Carbon Tax: Response to Bradley

By Ed Dolan -- May 18, 2017

Editor note: Professor Dolan kindly submitted this rebuttal to Robert Bradley’s post yesterday, “Hayek was not a Malthusian or Global Tariff Advocate (link to a carbon tax peculiar, errant).” Bradley’s post, in turn, was a critique of Dolan’s original piece, “Friedrich Hayek on Carbon Taxes.”


I am happy to comment on the validity of the nine points you raise regarding Hayek and a carbon tax.

  1. Hayek was suspicious of scientific ‘consensus,’ given the consensus of Keynesianism and central planning in his lifetime.

I agree with what you say about Hayek’s attitude toward the Keynesian consensus. However, my reading is that he distinguished between social sciences and natural sciences, and between the ability of people to offer informed judgement on fields in which they have specific expert training compared with fields in which they do not have such training.