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Silent conversion to anti-statism: Historical origins of the belief in market superiority


  • Engartner, Tim


Despite severe economic turmoil within the last decade the stock diagnosis for most market insufficiencies has been: the state must be 'slimmed down'. Satisfying social needs through the free market under the slogan of 'less government is good government' has been a constitutive feature of economic policy since the rise of neoliberalism in the 1980s. But even as the deregulation of the markets and the 'downsizing' of the state causes growing social turbulences - especially in the context of the current financial and economic meltdown - politicians, scholars and the media still cling to the idea of an omnipotent market. Deeprooted and widely-spread anti-statism still fulfils the role of a creed serving to legitimize the necessity of market-centred 'reforms'.

Suggested Citation

  • Engartner, Tim, 2012. "Silent conversion to anti-statism: Historical origins of the belief in market superiority," Discussion Papers 28, University of Hamburg, Centre for Economic and Sociological Studies (CESS/ZÖSS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cessdp:28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sinn, Gerlinde & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1992. "Kaltstart. Volkswirtschaftliche Aspekte der Deutschen Vereinigung," Monograph, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 2, number urn:isbn:9783161459429.
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    More about this item


    anti-statism; free-market economy; laissez-faire; lean state; liberalism; neoliberalism; Mont Pèlerin Society;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • B26 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Financial Economics
    • L3 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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