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Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft

Ed. by Apolte, Thomas / Berthold, Norbert / Budzinski, Oliver / Goldschmidt, Nils / Kerber, Wolfgang / Kolev, Stefan / Leschke, Martin / Mestmäcker, Ernst-Joachim / Möschel, Wernhard / Müller, Christian / Pies, Ingo / Sally, Razeen / Schnabl, Gunther / Schnellenbach, Jan / Schüller, Alfred / Schweitzer, Heike / Vanberg, Viktor J. / Watrin, Christian

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Paternalistic Economic Policies: Foundations, Implications and Critical Evaluations

Rainer Klump / Manuel Wörsdörfer
Published Online: 2016-05-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ordo-2015-0104


The article analyzes the inherent risks of paternalistic economic policies associated with the newly established economic sub-disciplines of behavioral economics, happiness economics and economic psychology. While the authors in general welcome these sub-disciplines for enriching and critically evaluating mainstream economics - especially their criticism of the Homo oeconomicus ‘heuristics’ is of great value contributing to a more realistic idea of man -, the derived implications and recommended lessons for economic policy should be received with concern and thus be subjected to a critical constitutional politico-economic review. The article also shows that the new economic sub-disciplines are not necessarily accompanied by a paternalistic style of politics; traditional, constitutional-political recommendations can also be derived from the (new) ‘normative economics’: The happiness economics approach by Frey et al., for example, not only avoids the inherent risks of a paternalistic state, it also stands (more) in the Kantian and constitutional economics traditions taking the autonomy and (citizen) sovereignty of people, human dignity and (the protection of) human rights seriously. It thus seems to be better suited for a modern version of Ordnungspolitik.

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Published Online: 2016-05-11

Published in Print: 2015-01-01

Citation Information: ORDO, Volume 66, Issue 1, Pages 27–60, ISSN (Online) 2366-0481, ISSN (Print) 0048-2129, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ordo-2015-0104.

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© 2015 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart.

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