The boundaries of the state
The paper is organized as follows: in part 2, I give a short account of Humboldt's boundaries of the state that relates to many present-day challenges to classical liberalism: his blunt rejection of any solicitude of the state for the positive welfare of the citizen which also covers education, religion and any kind of moral paternalism. In part 3, I refer to the new economic literature on the optimal size and number of nations in order to discuss whether small states are more likely to be (nearly) minimal states. This literature tends to disregard Humboldt's arguments in favour of exposing the individual to varieties of situations that he can choose and from which he can learn to self-develop. Therefore, in part 4, I argue that the evolutionary merits of this exposure can be illustrated by regarding institutional competition as a Hayekian discovery procedure. In part 5, I look at the partial removal of borders within the European Union and, using some intuitions from club theory, I argue that, in terms of the size of European government, integration has become in most areas too deep whereas in terms of the size of membership in the Union the EU has grown too big in some areas and too small in others. I conclude with a plea for more decentralization and competition amongst jurisdictions as a way to lead, as if by an invisible hand, to at least somewhat more limited states. My qualified claim is thus: more, and more open, boundaries between states lead to more limited governments.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Goethestrasse 10, D-79100 Freiburg im Breisgau|
Web page: http://www.walter-eucken-institut.de/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995.
"Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
- Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland Vaubel, 2005. "The Role of Competition in the Rise of Baroque and Renaissance Music," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 29(4), pages 277-297, November.
- Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997.
"On the Number and Size of Nations,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
- Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mathias Dewatripont & Francesco Giavazzi & Jürgen von Hagen & Ian Harden & Didier Baudewyns & Gérard Roland & Howard Rosenthal & André Sapir & Guido Tabellini, 1995. "Flexible integration: towards a more effective and democratic Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9541, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Johannes Rincke, 2005. "Yardstick Competition and Policy Innovation," Public Economics 0511010, EconWPA.
- Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, 2000. "A Proposal for a Flexible Europe," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(10), pages 1323-1334, October.
- Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, "undated". "A Proposal for a Flexible Europe," IEW - Working Papers 056, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgaessner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2010. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 27-48, July.
- Lars P. Feld & Gebhard KirchgÃ¤ssner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2003. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," CESifo Working Paper Series 1087, CESifo Group Munich.
- Roland Vaubel, 2008. "A History of Thought on Institutional Competition," Chapters,in: Institutional Competition, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Buchanan, James M & Faith, Roger L, 1987. "Secession and the Limits of Taxation: Toward a Theory of Internal Exit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1023-1031, December.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
- Chris Mulhearn & Howard R. Vane, 2008. "The Euro," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12566.
- Feld, Lars P. & Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2008. "On government centralization and fiscal referendums," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 611-645, May.
- Vanberg Viktor, 1993. "Constitutionally Constrained and Safeguarded Competition in Markets and Politics with reference to a European Constitution," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, March.
- Vanberg, Viktor J, 2000. "Functional Federalism: Communal or Individual Rights?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 363-386.
- Lars P Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2001. "The political economy of direct legislation: direct democracy and local decision-making," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 329-367, October.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
- Michael Wohlgemuth, 2008. "Learning Through Institutional Competition," Chapters,in: Institutional Competition, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:aluord:113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.