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Ordoliberalism, pragmatism and the eurozone crisis: How the German tradition shaped economic policy in Europe

Author

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  • Feld, Lars P.
  • Köhler, Ekkehard A.
  • Nientiedt, Daniel

Abstract

German policy during the Eurozone crisis supposedly follows an ordoliberal tradition. In this paper, we discuss to what extent this contention holds and to what extent Germany pragmatically responded to different crisis phenomena. A proper analysis of ordoliberal thinking reveals that the European Monetary Union can be justified on ordoliberal grounds as an economic constitution for Europe in which several pillars supposedly aim at ensuring sound money in the Eurozone. The policies the German government pushed during the Eurozone crisis have been informed by the ordoliberal tradition. In particular, this tradition may explain why the German government has been hesitant to support the call for Eurobonds and has only reluctantly established the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). However, the decisions on the ESM and the acceptance of unconventional monetary policy in Europe show that German economic policy largely responded pragmatically to the challenges offered by the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Feld, Lars P. & Köhler, Ekkehard A. & Nientiedt, Daniel, 2015. "Ordoliberalism, pragmatism and the eurozone crisis: How the German tradition shaped economic policy in Europe," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 15/04, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:aluord:1504
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feld Lars P., 2013. "Zur Bedeutung des Manifests der Marktwirtschaft oder: Das Lambsdorff-Papier im 31. Jahr," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 62(3), pages 227-243, December.
    2. Vanberg, Viktor J., 2014. "Ordnungspolitik, the Freiburg School and the reason of rules," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/01, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    3. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1997. "What does the Bundesbank target?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1025-1053, June.
    4. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, April.
    5. Feld, Lars P., 2012. "Europa in der Welt von heute: Wilhelm Röpke und die Zukunft der Europäischen Währungsunion," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 12/2, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    6. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker, 2008. "Zooming out: The trade effect of the euro in historical perspective," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1244-1260, December.
    7. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-162, May.
    8. Rudolf Richter, 2012. "German “Ordnungstheorie”. From the Perspective of the New Institutional Economics," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 132(4), pages 473-500.
    9. Werner Bonefeld, 2012. "Freedom and the Strong State: On German Ordoliberalism," New Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 633-656, November.
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    11. Lars Feld, 2005. "The European constitution project from the perspective of constitutional political economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 417-448, March.
    12. Blyth, Mark, 2013. "Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199828302.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan White, 2017. "Between Rules and Discretion: Thoughts on Ordo-liberalism," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 126, European Institute, LSE.
    2. Feld, Lars P. & Köhler, Ekkehard A. & Nientiedt, Daniel, 2017. "The "dark ages" of German macroeconomics and other alleged shortfalls in German economic thought," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 17/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    3. Peter Spahn, 2016. "Central Bank Design in a Non-optimal Currency Union A Lender of Last Resort for Government Debt?," ROME Working Papers 201610, ROME Network.
    4. Laica, Christoph & Lauber, Arne & Sahm, Marco, 2017. "Sequential round-robin tournaments with multiple prizes," BERG Working Paper Series 129, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ordoliberalism; Eurozone crisis; constitutional economics; monetary and fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • B26 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Financial Economics
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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