Her profile of Pete is right on. It catches the essence of the man. As one guy told me, Pete "is a very hard worker, which singles him out in academia!"
That said, the one point in Evans piece that might raise some eyebrows is the reference to Pete and his "emerging as the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics..."
It would probably be best to describe Pete as the standard-bearer of the Uptight Wing of the Austrian School of Economics. The Uptights tend to promote the work of Noble Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek, over the work of the Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.
Disscussing Hayek but ignoring Mises is something akin to discussing Scottie Pippen when talking about the championship years of the Chicago Bulls and not mentioning Michael Jordan. Nothing wrong with Pippen, but Jordan was "The Man."
In economics, there's nothing wrong with promoting the work of Hayek, in general he was a great economist. But "The Man" is Ludwig von Mises. The Uptights tend to push Mises down the memory hole because according to them he was "too stubborn." Translation: He was a man of principle in the face of severe establishment pressure to bend.
Notice there is no mention of Mises in the profile on Boettke.
There also seems to be a new move by the Uptights to distance themselves from the term "Austrian School." Boettke appears to be a key leader in this movement. For example, Boettke wrote:
As of January 1, 2010, we are changing our name to "Coordination Problem". This name change is symbolic as well as substantive. The term "Austrian economics" has become as much a hindrance to the advancement of thought as a convenient shorthand to signal certain methodological and analytical presumptions. We started this blog with a clear purpose to emphasize ongoing research in the scientific literature, and developments in higher education as related to economics and political economy. As a group we are committed to methodological individualism, market process theory, institutional analysis, and spontaneous order theorizing. And while we do not shy away from policy discussions, we do not identify with any political party or specific political movement.Thus, it is somewhat ironic that a member of the Uptights has been identified as the standard-bearer of Austrian economics. Evans even seems to be a bit confused about all this since she writes in the profile:
As an experiment, over the past six months we have been tracking the use of the term Austrian economics in the news and in the blogosphere. Less systematically, we have also been listening carefully to the use of the term among fellow professional economists and what they think the label means. The results do not fit our intention. Google alert, for example, inevitably points to financial advice or libertarian politics, rarely to the research paradigm of F. A. Hayek, never to the scholarship of Israel Kirzner. Mises is often mentioned, but Mises the ideological symbol, not Mises the analytical economist. The "Austrian" theory of the business cycle is mentioned, but only in relationship to anti-fed politics and hard money advocacy, and never as an ongoing research program among professional economists.
These trends are not recent, but have been constant throughout our respective careers. We have always been among those who attempted to offer resistance to this use of the term. It has become evident to us that our efforts have been futile. Rather than resist the pure ideological identification, we are choosing to devote our efforts elsewhere. The name Austrian economics has been lost as a focal point for a tradition of economic scholarship, and is now a focal point for something else. We have to let it go.
The resurgence of Austrian economics does have its hazards, Mr. Boettke says. The antigovernment fervor on cable-television shows and the Internet may have popularized its theories, but it also "reinforces the idea to critics that these are crackpot ideas," he said. He has tried to distance himself from conspiracy theorists and even dropped "Austrian" from the name of his blog. But he hasn't yet thought of a better term.Talk about cable-television fervor. A mention of Hayek's book, The Road to Serfdom, by the curious, one step in the insane asylum, Glenn Beck, has sent the book to the top of best seller lists. And an even deeper reading of Hayek is being done by strippers.
The strippers are even reading Hayek's much more scholarly The Fatal Conceit.There has been no posting on Pete's blog as to how the Uptights should deal with these latest developments around Hayek.