IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Verkehrspolitik in der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft


  • Fichert, Frank


Despite the fact, that in 1949 the Federal Republic of Germany had decided to base its economic system on the concept of Social Market Economy, the transport sector in the 1950s and 1960s was characterized by a strict regulation, prohibiting competition in most transport markets. One fundamental aim of this regulation was the protection of the state owned railway company (Deutsche Bundesbahn). In the paper, at first the transformation of Germany's transport policy from a system of anti-competitive regulation to a framework for competitive markets is shown. Nevertheless, this process has not been straightforward. Especially in the late 1960s, policy makers intended to adopt an even stricter regulation. Moreover, the decisive impetus towards deregulation came from outside, namely the 1985 ruling of the European Court of Justice on the common transport market. In the second part of the paper, two current discussions in the field of transport policy are reviewed. Firstly, a strong support for governmental interventions aiming at a reasonable modal split can be observed. In contrast, within the Social Market Economy, the modal split should be the result of an open market process, not a target of transport policy. Nevertheless, in order to achieve an economically efficient modal split, a level playing field should be provided, leading to many controversies about the elements of a non-discriminatory framework for intermodal competition. Secondly, as mobility is a crucial prerequisite for participating in social, cultural and political life, transport policy makers intend to guarantee a certain degree of mobility for everybody. Therefore, many public transport companies are owned or subsidized by local or regional authorities, in order to enable affordable prices for transportation. It is shown in the paper that vouchers for the use of public transport services show a higher degree of compatibility with the concept of the Social Market Economy than other state interventions. Especially, vouchers do not distort the price mechanism, provide incentives for more customer-orientation and lead to a higher degree of transparency.

Suggested Citation

  • Fichert, Frank, 2009. "Verkehrspolitik in der Sozialen Marktwirtschaft," Discourses in Social Market Economy 2009-06, OrdnungsPolitisches Portal (OPO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:opodis:200906

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:opodis:200906. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.