Hummel argues that the Austrian explanation of the business cycle fails on empirical grounds. In particular, he notes that investment spending remained positive in all recessions where there are data, except for the Great Depression. He argues that this casts doubt on the notion that recessions are caused by a reallocation of resources from industrial production to consumption, since he argues that the Austrian business cycle theory implies that net investment should be below zero during recessions. In response, Austrian economist Walter Block argues that the misallocation during booms does not preclude the possibility of demand increasing overall.
In 1969, economist Milton Friedman, after examining the history of business cycles in the U.S., concluded that "The Hayek-Mises explanation of the business cycle is contradicted by the evidence. It is, I believe, false." He analyzed the issue using newer data in 1993, and again reached the same conclusion. Austrian economist Roger Garrison argued that Friedman misinterpreted economic aggregates and how they related to the business cycles he reviewed. He added that, "Friedman's empirical findings are broadly consistent with both Monetarist and Austrian views", but goes on to say that although Friedman's model "describes the economy's performance at the highest level of aggregation, Austrian theory offers an insightful account of the market process that might underlie those aggregates."
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“To develop an empiricist account of science is to depict it as involving a search for truth only about the empirical world, about what is actual and observable.... It must involve throughout a resolute rejection of the demand for an explanation of the regularities in the observable course of nature, by means of truths concerning a reality beyond what is actual and observable, as a demand which plays no role in the scientific enterprise.”
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