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|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.walter-eucken-institut.de/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Johannes Rincke, 2005.
"Yardstick Competition and Policy Innovation,"
- Roland Vaubel, 2008. "A History of Thought on Institutional Competition," Chapters, in: Institutional Competition, chapter 2 Edward Elgar.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
- Roland Vaubel, 2005. "The Role of Competition in the Rise of Baroque and Renaissance Music," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 277-297, November.
- 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.
- 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.
- Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992.
"Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition,"
NBER Working Papers
4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner & 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.
- 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.
- Chris Mulhearn & Howard R. Vane, 2008. "The Euro," Books, Edward Elgar, number 12566, April.
- Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995.
"On the Number and Size of Nations,"
NBER Working Papers
5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruno S. Frey & Reiner Eichenberger, .
"A Proposal for a Flexible Europe,"
IEW - Working Papers
056, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Vanberg, Viktor J, 2000. "Functional Federalism: Communal or Individual Rights?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 363-86.
- 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.
- Michael Wohlgemuth, 2008. "Learning Through Institutional Competition," Chapters, in: Institutional Competition, chapter 3 Edward Elgar.
- 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 1023-31, December.
- 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 26, March.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.