Friends and students of Walter Eucken founded the Walter Eucken Institut on January 11, 1954, four years after the untimely death of Walter Eucken, the influential economist and founding member of the Freiburg School of Economics. As an independent organization, the institute pursues research in economics and other social sciences in the tradition of the Freiburg School. Questions of preserving and further developing an institutional framework for an open market economy, as well as open political systems, are therefore the main focus of our research.
By holding lectures, providing seminars, hosting academic conferences, and releasing publications, the institute aims to make the research approach of the Freiburg School and its applications to real-world policy issues accessible to the public. We thereby promote an understanding of how economic, political and social factors can be instrumental in securing economic growth, individual freedom of choice and political liberty.
From the beginning, this idea has received broad and prominent support: The late Minister for Economic Affairs Ludwig Erhard has played a strong role in founding the institute in 1954. The Nobel Prize winner Friedrich A. von Hayek was a board member from 1964 to 1970, and honorary president of the institute from 1970 until his death in 1992. The late James M. Buchanan, also a Nobel Prize laureate and one of the founding fathers of the economic analysis of policy-making and constitutions, held the position of honorary president from 2003 until his death in 2013.