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Friedrich von Hayek

1974 Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Friedrich August von Hayek (*1899 – †1992) received the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and his penetrating analyses of the interdependence of economic, social, and institutional phenomena. (with Gunnar Myrdal)

Friedrich August von Hayek, born in Vienna in 1899, was professor for economics at the University of Freiburg from 1962 to 1968.

Hayek began his studies at the University of Vienna in 1918, where he earned doctorates in Law (1921) and Economics (1923). From 1927 on he served as director of the Austrian Institute for Trade Cycle Research, which he had founded together with Ludwig von Mises. After completing his habilitation in 1929, he was appointed as professor at the London School of Economics (1931), where he was seen as the most prominent representative of the Austrian School and opponent of John Maynard Keynes during the 30s and 40s. In 1950 he received a position at the University of Chicago, and in 1962 he accepted a chair at the University of Freiburg, where he soon became a member of the board of directors of the Walter Eucken Institute. In 1967 he was given emeritus status, but he continued to teach until 1969. 

In 1974, von Hayek received the Prize in Economic Science in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his work on “the theory of money and economic fluctuations” and his “penetrating analyses of the interdependence of economic, social, and institutional phenomena” (with the Swede Gunnar Myrdal).

After serving as an honorary professor at the University of Salzburg, he returned to Freiburg in 1977, where he was active until his death in 1992. In 1991 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

Hayek was among the most significant liberal thinkers of the 20th century and the most influential critics of socialism. He left behind a voluminous legacy of academic writings which have been translated into numerous languages. His most well-known book is doubtlessly The Road to Serfdom. Although his ideas were long viewed with skepticism, their relevance has since been confirmed by the downfall of the socialist systems and the modern development of a world economy characterized by globalization, liberalism, and deregulation.