This page may be of use to students and interested colleagues. I have included links to my courses, my resume, some recent and current work, colleagues working in related areas and my personal interests.
Peter Lewin's Home Page
Clinical Professor, Managerial Economics
“There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy”
(972).883.2729 /FAX (972).883.2799
1. When all else fails use common sense.
2. You cannot know the unknowable.
3. Other people’s mathematics is always more difficult than your own. (I have adopted this one from someone – I forget whom).
4. The question we should be asking is not: What should we do?, it is rather: Who should decide what we should do?
Teaching “No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.” Margaret E. Sangster (1838–1912).
Click on the course title to go to the course web page
Class Section-Class Number / Alternate listing
Schedule & Location
Mon : 6:00pm-10:00pm JSOM 1.117
Tues : 6:00pm-10:00pm JSOM 2.106
Wed : 1:00pm-5:00pm JSOM 1.801
Wed : 6:00pm-10:00pm JSOM 2.116
My original area of specialization was in monetary theory and later (at the university of Chicago) in labor economics where I was fortunate to have been able to study with Gary Becker (most particularly the economics of discrimination, human capital and the distribution of income). Though trained at Chicago, I retained an interest in the economics of the Austrian School, having been introduced to it by my teacher as an undergraduate, Ludwig M. Lachmann. In recent years most of my research has been on issues connected to the revival of the Austrian School and its ability to enhance the insights of modern economic theory. More specifically, I have revived an early interest of mine in the theory of capital, for which the Austrian School is mostly known, but about which, I have always felt, there is much misunderstanding. Along these lines I have tried to kindle some interest in the contributions of Ludwig Lachmann to the theory of capital and, perhaps more importantly, to extend and apply his insights. I have been very excited to find that the modern information-age world serves to illustrate Lachmann's insights even more graphically than he could have imagined. I have been drawn to recent studies of the theory of the firm currently proliferating not only in economics but also (perhaps even moreso) in the related disciplines of corporate strategy and management. It has been of considerable interest to find in this literature profound commonalities with the Austrian market process approach and the theory of capital structures (as developed by Lachmann and Hayek). This research area is ripe for productive cross-fertilization as the strategy-organization approach can inform the Neoclassical theory of the firm and help the Austrian approach to develop a theory of the firm that it is lacking. Neoclassical economic theory works with formal models of representative firms, that is, firms that are, in all essential respects, identical. The essentials are captured by the elements of the “production function.” Though many important insights (concerning the pure logic of choice faced by firms as decision-makers) have, and continue to be, derived from this approach, it nevertheless falls short in one very crucial respect. It is unable to explain why some firms do better than others, and indeed how it is that any kind of sustainable competitive advantage is possible. In other words, Neoclassical theory is equilibrium theory and can be fruitfully supplemented by disequilibrium or process theory. Most recently, I have also revived and interest in household economics and am exploring connections between Austria and Chicago that are relevant to this. Some recent work appears below.
A recent interview that may be of interest appears here.
Capital in Disequilibrium
Recipient of the 1999 Smith Prize for the best book published on Austrian Economics
The Economics of QWERTY
2. The Economics of QWERTY: History, Theory and Policy, Essays by Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis, Edited with an Introduction and Conclusion by Peter Lewin (New York: New York University Press; and London: Palgrave (formerly Macmillan) 2002).
Articles and Papers: (for a shorter, more organized, list see here.)
1. What Do We Know For Certain About Uncertainty? Keynote address, Legatum Institute, Charles Street Symposium, June, 10, 2012
Hayek and Lachmann and the Complexity of Capital. Forthcoming, R. Garrison (ed.) The Elgar Companion to Hayek Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
13. The Development of Austrian Economics: Revisiting the Neoclassical Divide. Review of Austrian Economics 14 (4) 2001, 239-251.
14. The Market Process and the Economics of QWERTY: Two Views Review of Austrian Economics, 14 (1), 2001, 65-96.
15. th Steven E. Phelan, in Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization, Edited by Nicolai Foss and Peter Klein, Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 2001.
16. with Steven E. Phelan International Journal of Management Reviews. December 2000.
17. My Teacher and his Legacy, Contribution to: Professor Lachmann (1906 - 1990): Scholar, Teacher, and Austrian School Critic of Late Classical Formalism in Economics in American Journal of Economics and Sociology 59 (3), July 2000, 381-390.
18. Constitutional Political Economy 11(3), October 2000.
19. with Steven E. Phelan, Review of Austrian Economics, 13 (1), 2000 59-80.
20. Firms, Strategies, and Resources: Contributions from Austrian Economics, with Steven E. Phelan, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, (2), 1999, 3-18.
22. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, October 1998.
23. Journal of Economic Methodology 1997, 4:2, 245-266.
25. History of Political Economy Winter 1997, 1997, 29(3) 523-548.
26. Rothbard and Mises on Interest: An Exercise in Theoretical Purity Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Spring 1997, 141-159.
28. Advances in Austrian Economics vol. 3, 1996.
29. Methods and Metaphors in Capital Theory Advances in Austrian Economics vol. 2, 1995.
30. Capital Theory entry in Companion to Austrian Economics, edited by Peter Boettke (Edward Elgar, 1994).
4. The Evolution of Austrian Economics: From Menger to Lachmann, by Sandye Gloria-Palermo. (London and New York: Routledge, 1999 -Routledge Studies in the History of Economics.) Review Essay, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 2001 Winter 4 (4): 71-82.
5. Subjectivism and Economic Analysis: Essays in Memory of Ludwig M. Lachmann, Edited by Roger Koppl and Gary Mongiovi (London and New York: Routledge, 1998) Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, 2000 Spring 4 (1): 75-80.
7. Carl Menger’s Lectures to Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, Erich W. Streissler and Monika Streissler (editors) and Monika Streissler and David F. Good (translators), Edward Elgar: Aldershot and Brookfield, 1994, History of Economic Ideas 1997 (2): 123-125.
¨ Colleagues working in related areas
On the firm.
Scholars in Austrian Economics and related areas.
If you are interested in Free Banking see the work of the following scholars.
On Network Effects, Intellectual Property, Economics of the Internet.
Family is number one. Click here to go to my Family Page and here to see a recent photo album.
Jewish Philosophy and education (Click here for An Argument for the Support of School Vouchers from a Jewish Day School Point of View).
Tennis (watch and play); soccer, rugby (watch only).
Classical music and opera in particular.