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The concept of Ordnungspolitik: Rule-based economic policy-making from the perspective of the Freiburg School

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  • Schnellenbach, Jan

Abstract

Should economic policy be guided by rules? In this paper, we take the perspective of the Freiburg School and trace its argument for rule-based Ordnungspolitik back to the roots of the concept. In doing so, will not offer a comprehensive review of the literature, but argue closely along the works of Walter Eucken, whose works are central to understanding the founding generation of the Freiburg School. We argue that there are costs of not having rules and therefore that the main thrust of the Freiburg approach is still valid. There are good, empirical arguments for pursuing a rule-based Ordnungspolitik in order to avoid the costs of discretionary policy-making. Furthermore, we argue that a reliance on stable rules does not imply an incapacitation of democratic decision-making. Rules rely on democratic support, and rule-based Ordnungspolitik also leaves substantial material scope for discretionary democratic decision-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnellenbach, Jan, 2021. "The concept of Ordnungspolitik: Rule-based economic policy-making from the perspective of the Freiburg School," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 21/07, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:aluord:2107
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ordnungspolitik; Freiburg School; economic orders; economic constitutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • P50 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - General

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