Prof. Dr. Viktor J. Vanberg, Senior Research Fellow

Viktor J. Vanberg served as director of the Walter Eucken Institut from 2001 to 2010 and continues to be affiliated with the institute as member of the board and as senior research associate. His successor as director, Lars Feld, has said about the significance of Vanberg’s academic contribution: “Since many years Viktor Vanberg has worked to modernize the traditional Ordnungsökonomik approach and to connect it with current developments in economics.”

As a sociologist by training and as a long-time colleague of Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan at the Center for the Study of Public Choice, George Masson University, USA, Vanberg was able to combine in his work the Ordoliberalism of the Freiburg School, American Public Choice theory and F.A. Hayek’s evolutionary economics. By demonstrating the commonalities between Walter Eucken’s Ordnungstheorie and Buchanan’s research program of constitutional political economy he not only brought the Freiburg School tradition closer to the international academic discourse, but also clarified important aspects of this tradition. He showed in particular how the question of how to legitimize the kind of economic order that Eucken advocated can be answered in terms of Buchanan’s strictly individualistic contractarian approach according to which the voluntary agreement of the citizens concerned is the ultimate source from which a constitutional orders and its reform derive their legitimacy.

Main research interests:

  • New Constitutional Economics
  • Constitutional Economics
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Behavioral Economics