Ordnungstheorie and Theory of Regulation: How Productive Are They? A Virtual Panel Discussion

  • Hans-Jürgen Wagener
Part of the Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy book series (SEEP)


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, for two days we have been listening to fascinating expositions of two continental economic theories and lively discussions about their respective theoretical value. Clearly, the two are as different as they could be:
  • They originated in different periods of the twentieth century. Ordnungstheorie was developed in Nazi Germany by Eucken (1940) with the historical experience of the Great Depression and its cures, corporatism, state planning and Keynesian interventionism. Regulation theory evolved in postwar France during the 1970s with the historical experience of the trente glorieuses, the post-war boom, and its abrupt ending in 1973.

  • They have different theoretical backgrounds. Eucken was inspired by liberalism which, at the time, brought him in close contact with neoclassical and (neo)Austrian theory. As a matter of fact, his microeconomics was basically neoclassical and his monetary theory informed by the Austrians, since the neoclassical approach had little to offer in this respect. Of course, Eucken was well acquainted with, although not enamoured of, the German Historical school. The Regulationists are secularized Marxists with a solid mainstream training. When it comes to economic policy questions, an inclination towards post-Keynesianism can be detected. However, it rarely does come to questions of economic policy, since their perspective, like that of Marx, is the long run.


Institutional Form Economic Order Transformation Programme Regulation Theory Spontaneous Order 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

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  • Hans-Jürgen Wagener

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