Let’s Agree Not to Agree: F. A. Hayek’s ‘Calculus of Consent’

RÉGIS SERVANT

CAMBRIDGE JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS, Volume 41, Issue 1

Abstract: Our paper aims to show that one of Hayek’s arguments in support of free-market capitalism – and against centralized planning, a regime of distributive justice and a bargaining democracy – rests on the contractarian criterion of voluntary agreement or voluntary consent. According to Hayek, people can reach consensual agreement on the desirability of a regime, free-market capitalism, whose operation necessarily produces nonconsensual results.