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Review of Economics

Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftswissenschaften

Editor-in-Chief: Berlemann, Michael

Ed. by Haucap, Justus / Thum, Marcel

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Volume 60, Issue 3


Ökonomische Konzepte in Robert Nozicks Rechtfertigung eines Minimalstaats

Dr. Bodo Knoll
Published Online: 2016-04-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/roe-2009-0304


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.

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Published Online: 2016-04-19

Published in Print: 2009-12-01

Citation Information: Review of Economics, Volume 60, Issue 3, Pages 254–264, ISSN (Online) 2366-035X, ISSN (Print) 0948-5139, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/roe-2009-0304.

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© 2009 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart.

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