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Homo Oeconomicus and Homo Politicus, Political Economy, Constitutional Interest and Ecological Interest


  • Faber, Malte
  • Manstetten, Reiner
  • Petersen, Thomas


Are modern democracies capable of preserving the constituent of liberty and the natural basis of human existence in the long-run? The achievement of these aims requires political actions toward fundamental changes in modern societies. The respective political actors have to develop long-term constitutional and ecological interests. Attempts of public choice to derive such interests on the basis of homo oeconomicus have led to theoretical difficulties. To contribute to a theoretical basis for constitutional and ecological interests, the authors introduce the notion of homo politicus. Homo oeconomicus and homo politicus are not mutually exclusive alternatives, but dimensions of human behavior. Copyright 1997 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

Suggested Citation

  • Faber, Malte & Manstetten, Reiner & Petersen, Thomas, 1997. "Homo Oeconomicus and Homo Politicus, Political Economy, Constitutional Interest and Ecological Interest," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 457-483.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:50:y:1997:i:4:p:457-83

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2008. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 478-497, August.
    2. Christine Eibner & William N. Evans, 2005. "Relative Deprivation, Poor Health Habits, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    3. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
    4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    5. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    6. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
    7. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G & Trejo, Stephen J, 1992. "Assimilation and the Earnings of Young Internal Migrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 170-175, February.
    8. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583.
    9. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Benno Torgler, 2009. "The Evolution of Tax Morale in Modern Spain," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28.
    2. Soderbaum, Peter, 2007. "Issues of paradigm, ideology and democracy in sustainability assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 613-626, January.
    3. Schiller, Frank, 2009. "Linking material and energy flow analyses and social theory," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1676-1686, April.
    4. Becker, Christian, 2006. "The human actor in ecological economics: Philosophical approach and research perspectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 17-23, November.
    5. João Rogério Sanson, 2007. "Ethics, politics, and Nonsatiation in Consumption: A Synthesis," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 8(1), pages 1-20.
    6. Faber, Malte & Petersen, Thomas, 2012. "The Environmental Aspect of “Making People Rich as the Top Priority” in China: a Marxian Perspective," Working Papers 0526, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    7. Becker, Christian & Faber, Malte & Hertel, Kirsten & Manstetten, Reiner, 2005. "Malthus vs. Wordsworth: Perspectives on humankind, nature and economy. A contribution to the history and the foundations of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 299-310, May.

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