Walter Eucken

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Eucken, Walter


Born Jan. 17,1891, in Jena; died Mar. 20, 1950, in London. German economist.

Eucken received his doctorate from the University of Berlin in 1921. He became a professor at the University of Tübingen in 1925 and was a professor at the University of Freiburg from 1927 to 1950. Eucken was a theorist of West German neoliberalism, a doctrine of large-scale monopoly capital that advocates government intervention in the economy but disguises it as a defense of free enterprise.

According to Eucken, all economic systems in the history of mankind can be divided into two ideal types: free-market economies and centrally managed economies. In this classification, which is based on forms of economic management, the socialist economy is treated as a centrally managed economy, a category that includes, along with the economic systems of the pharaohs and feudalism, the economy of fascist Germany. The socialist economy is regarded as a “supermonopoly,” allegedly lacking effective management, as opposed to a “rational and harmonious social market economy,” such as that of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Eucken’s theory, which distorts the nature of socialism and socialist planning, is demagogic in character and attempts to conceal the growing strength of large-scale monopoly capital.


“Kapitaltheoretische Untersuchungen: Mit einer Einleitung in die Sammlung.” In Was leistet die nationalökonomische Theorie? Jena, 1934.
Die Grundlagen der Nationalökonomie, 7th ed. Berlin, 1959.
Unser Zeitalter de Misserfolge: 5 Vorträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik. Tübingen, 1951.
Grundsätze der Wirtschaftspolitik, 2nd ed. Bern-Tübingen, 1952.


Bliumin, I. G. Krizis sovremennoi burzhuaznoi politicheskoi ekonomii. Moscow, 1959.
Kotov, V. N. Zapadnogermanskii neoliberalizm. Moscow, 1961.
Bürgerliche Ökonomie im modernen Kapitalismus. Berlin, 1967. Chapter 2.
References in periodicals archive ?
In trying to establish a line of continuity between the "Geneva School" and today's global bureaucrats, Slobodian places great stress on the "Ordo liberals." This group, which included Franz Bohm and Walter Eucken, favored a very active government to promote the social institutions for a "social market economy.
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Its foundations can be traced back to the work of Walter Eucken, an economist at the University of Freiburg, who was convinced that economic systems must be guided by competition-enhancing principles.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bundesbank President Jens Weidman adhere to the ideas of German economist Walter Eucken, who was the father of "ordoliberalism." Eucken opposed National Socialism and after World War Two, his ideaswere fundamental to the rapid rebuilding of West Germany that became known as the Wirtschaftswunder or "economic miracle."
Walter Eucken, a key proponent of the German ordo-liberal school of economics, distinguished between commodity money and credit money systems.
Similar questions are addressed in chapter 8 by Nils Goldschmidt and Jan-Otmar Hesse, who explore the points of agreement and the substantial areas of disagreement between Hayek and the prominent Ordoliberal, Walter Eucken. Goldschmidt and Hesse show how Hayek took the Chicago position on collusion, cartels and intellectual property rights, rejecting the Ordoliberals' insistence on the need for firm regulation by the state to ensure the survival of competition.
After Hayek made opening remarks, a committee composed of himself, Walter Eucken, H.
The founding ordo-liberal thinkers were Walter Eucken (1891-1950), Alexander Rustow (1885-1963), Wilhelm Ropke (1899-1966) and Alfred Muller-Armack (1901-78).
It would have been more enlightening had he chosen broadly promarket revivers of classical political economy such as the social market theorists Walter Eucken or Wilhelm Ropke or the contemporary Italian economist, Luigino Bruni.