Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

Walter Eucken and Viktor J. Vanberg: The Evolution of Ordoliberalizm

Dinçaslan Mehmet, Dr. Lecturer, Karadeniz Technical University, Department of Economics

Walter Eucken (1891-1950) is known as the theoretical-intellectual pioneer of the “Social Market Economy” approach which was effective in Germany's Post-World War II economic development. In particular, he contributed to the establishment of a free economic and social order by the way of developing legal and economic principles. In this regard, the economic/political/juridical ideas that he cultivated are stated under the conceptual framework in "Ordoliberalism". Unlike "laissez-faire liberalism", Ordoliberalism is based on the understanding that "market order" is varied from "natural order", and the government should establish a legal-institutional framework for the proper functioning of the market order. In other terms, he worked to make Adam Smith's "invisible hand” metaphor viable, through determining the rules of the game within the scope of "constitutional economic policy". On the other side, Viktor J. Vanberg (1943-…) is one of the scholars who carry out a scientific study program in Freiburg School that contribute to both in terms of economic theory/policy and its recognition outside of Germany. Vanberg is an economist-philosopher who has composed modern economic theories and Eucken's approach to the economic order. Thus, he has advanced the thought line of Freiburg Tradition. In this paper, it will be analysed how Eucken's ideas affected and contributed to the formation of Vanberg's academic knowledge. The paper will be contained two main limitations. Firstly, it will be excluded the publications which Vanberg wrote in German. However, this study focuses on his works in English that have been made. Secondly, it will be made a detailed assessment of Vanberg's cites to Eucken. This paper aims to determine and categorise the contributions of Vanberg and Eucken, as the members of Freiburg School, to the continuity of the line of economic liberalism.


Keywords: Walter Eucken, Viktor J. Vanberg, Ordoliberalizm, Freiburg School of Law and Economics