Review of Economics
Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Editor-in-Chief: Berlemann, Michael
Ed. by Haucap, Justus / Thum, Marcel
3 Issues per year
Ökonomische Konzepte in Robert Nozicks Rechtfertigung eines Minimalstaats
In his „Anarchy, State, and Utopia“, Robert Nozick tried to justify a minimal state. While his theory is based on economic concepts, economists have as yet paid little attention to it. The use of economics is demonstrated by a reconstruction of Nozick’s arguments in the first part of “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”: Ruinous competition leads to a natural monopoly of the “dominant protection agency”. Externalities are used to legitimize the minimal state’s prohibition of other protection agencies. Its duty to protect all citizens can be seen as a redistributive in-kind transfer. Nozick explicitly refers to the neoclassical theory of law in his justification of the minimal state’s right to impose a deterrent criminal law. The economic concepts imply arguments in favour of the minimal state that are partly inconsistent.