Pedro Molina

La revanche de Keynes contre Hayek

LONDRES - L'économiste autrichien Friedrich von Hayek, décédé en 1992 à l'âge de 93 ans, a déclaré un jour qu’il était nécessaire de survivre à ses adversaires pour avoir le dernier mot. Né en 1899, il a eu la chance de survivre à Keynes pendant près de 50 ans, et a ainsi pu revendiquer une victoire à titre posthume sur un rival qui ne l'a guère épargné, d’un point de vue intellectuel, de son vivant.

Hayek était au sommet de sa renommée dans les années 1980, quand Margaret Thatcher, alors Premier ministre du Royaume-Uni, a eu l’idée de citer des passages de La Route de la Servitude (1944), ouvrage dans lequel la planification centralisée passe au crible de la critique de son auteur. Mais dans le monde de l’économie, un verdict n’est jamais le dernier. Tandis que Hayek défendait le système de marché contre l'inefficacité flagrante de la planification centralisée – et qu’il faisait des émules –, l’optique keynesienne, selon laquelle les systèmes de stabilisation du marché nécessaires, restait d’actualité dans les Ministères des Finances et les banques centrales.

Cependant, ces deux traditions ont été éclipsées par l'école des anticipations rationnelles, née à Chicago – le courant de pensée qui domine la sphère de l'économie classique depuis vingt-cinq ans. Les agents économiques étant supposés détenir des informations sûres pour parer à toutes les éventualités, les crises systémiques ne sont pas censées se produire, excepté à la suite d'accidents ou de surprises hors de la portée des théories économiques.

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