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The Postwar West German Economic Transition: From Ordoliberalism to Keynesianism

  • Johannes R. B. Rittershausen
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    The Federal Republic of Germany has experienced a fundamental shift in economic philosophy from Ordoliberalism to Keynesianism. This paper elucidates the main tenets of both schools of thought and their eventual influences on economic policy from 1945 through the late 1960s. West Germany’s transition to Keynesianism follows a relatively cohesive narrative, as the complexities of event history resonate to similar effect in academic and political spheres. By the end of this investigation, intellectual quagmires surrounding economic successes of the postwar period appear as the logical consequences of an academic community that underestimates the importance of normative economic philosophy for policy implementation and society writ large. Reconnecting historical narrative with economic philosophy thus serves in a dual capacity, clarifying a particularly controversial period in economic historiography while also illuminating the underlying problems of our present circumstance.

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    Paper provided by Institute for Economic Policy, Cologne, Germany in its series IWP Discussion Paper Series with number 01/2007.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:kln:iwpdip:dp01/07
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