Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Eucken, Walter

  • Stefan KolevEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_210


The purpose of this entry is to delineate the political economy of Walter Eucken. To reach this goal, a history of economics approach is harnessed. First, the entry concisely reconstructs Eucken’s life, intellectual evolution, and heritage. Second, it presents the specificities of his “theory of orders” and his “order-based policy” gateway to a rule-based political economy.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anter A (2007) Die Macht der Ordnung. Aspekte einer Grundkategorie des Politischen, 2nd edn. Mohr Siebeck, TübingenGoogle Scholar
  2. Bofinger P (2016) German macroeconomics: the long shadow of Walter Eucken. CEPR’s Policy Portal of June 7 2016. Available at: http://voxeu.org/article/german-macroeconomics-long-shadow-walter-eucken
  3. Böhm F, Eucken E, Großmann-Doerth H (2008) Unsere Aufgabe. In: Goldschmidt N, Wohlgemuth M (eds) Grundtexte zur Freiburger Tradition der Ordnungsökonomik. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, p 27–37. English translation In: Peacock A, Willgerodt H (eds) (1989) Germany’s social market economy: origins and evolution. St. Martin’s Press, New York, p 15–26Google Scholar
  4. Buchanan JM (2012) Presentations 2010–2012 at the Jepson School of Leadership, Summer Institute for the History of Economic Thought, University of Richmond. Available at: http://jepson.richmond.edu/conferences/summer-institute/index.html
  5. Eucken W (1948) On the theory of the centrally administered economy. An analysis of the German experiment, parts I and II. Economica 15(58):79–100. 15(59):173–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Eucken W (1992) The foundations of economics. History and theory in the analysis of economic reality, 2nd edn. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  7. Eucken W (2004) Grundsätze der Wirtschaftspolitik, 7th edn. Mohr Siebeck, TübingenGoogle Scholar
  8. Feld LP, Köhler EA, Nientiedt D (2015) Ordoliberalism, pragmatism and the eurozone crisis: how the German tradition shaped economic policy in Europe. Eur Rev Int Stud 2(3):48–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Foucault M (2008) The birth of biopolitics. Lectures at the Collège de France 1978–1979. Palgrave Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Giersch H, Paqué K-H, Schmieding H (1992) The fading miracle. Four decades of market economy in Germany. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Glossner CL (2010) The making of the German post-war economy. Political communication and public reception of the social market economy after world war II. Tauris Academic Studies, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Goldschmidt N (2013) Walter Eucken’s place in the history of ideas. Rev Austrian Econ 26(3):127–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldschmidt N, Wohlgemuth M (2008a) Entstehung und Vermächtnis der Freiburger Tradition der Ordnungsökonomik. In: Goldschmidt N, Wohlgemuth M (eds) Grundtexte zur Freiburger Tradition der Ordnungsökonomik. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, pp 1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goldschmidt N, Wohlgemuth M (2008b) Social market economy: origins, meanings, interpretations. Constit Polit Econ 19(3):261–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goldschmidt N, Wohlgemuth M (2008c) Zur Einführung: Unsere Aufgabe (1936). In: Goldschmidt N, Wohlgemuth M (eds) Grundtexte zur Freiburger Tradition der Ordnungsökonomik. Schweizer Monatshefte, Tübingen, pp 21–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hayek FA (1951) Die Überlieferung der Ideale der Wirtschaftsfreiheit. Schweizer Monatshefte 31(6):333–338Google Scholar
  17. Klinckowstroem W (2000) Walter Eucken: Eine biographische Skizze. In: Gerken L (ed) Walter Eucken und sein Werk. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, pp 53–115Google Scholar
  18. Köhler EA, Kolev S (2013) The conjoint quest for a liberal positive program: “Old Chicago”, Freiburg, and Hayek. In: Peart SJ, Levy DM (eds) F. A. Hayek and the modern economy: economic organization and activity. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp 211–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kolev S (2015) Ordoliberalism and the Austrian school. In: Boettke PJ, Coyne CJ (eds) The Oxford handbook of Austrian economics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 419–444Google Scholar
  20. Kolev S, Goldschmidt N, Hesse J-O (2014) Walter Eucken’s role in the early history of the Mont Pèlerin Society, Discussion paper 14/02. Walter Eucken Institut, FreiburgGoogle Scholar
  21. Köster R (2011) Die Wissenschaft der Außenseiter. Die Krise der Nationalökonomie in der Weimarer Republik. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, GöttingenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nicholls AJ (1994) Freedom with responsibility. The social market economy in Germany, 1918–1963. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Oliver HM (1960) German neoliberalism. Q J Econ 74(1):117–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sally R (1998) Classical liberalism and international economic order: studies in theory and intellectual history. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  25. Van Horn R (2009) Reinventing monopoly and the role of corporations: the roots of Chicago law and economics. In: Mirowski P, Plehwe D (eds) The road from Mont Pèlerin: the making of the neoliberal thought collective. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp 204–237Google Scholar
  26. Vanberg VJ (1988) “Ordnungstheorie” as constitutional economics. The German conception of a “social market economy”. ORDO Jahrb Ordn Wirtsch Ges 39:17–31Google Scholar
  27. Vanberg VJ (2001) The Freiburg school of law and economics: predecessor of constitutional economics. In: Vanberg VJ The constitution of markets. Essays in political economy. Routledge, London, pp 37–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. White LH (2012) The clash of economic ideas. The great policy debates and experiments of the last hundred years. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wilhelm Röpke Institute, Erfurt and University of Applied Sciences ZwickauZwickauGermany