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Research on the origin and development of ordoliberalism History of Economic Thought

The history of ordoliberalism begins with the Freiburg School, a research and teaching collaboration of economists and lawyers at the University of Freiburg in the 1930s and 1940s.

The Walter Eucken Institute aims to investigate the emergence, further development and current significance of ordoliberal thinking. An important research focus is the influence of ordoliberalism on the concept of the Social Market Economy and its relevance for today’s economic and social policy reforms.

Additionally, the institute, in cooperation with recognized historians of ideas, wants to continue to promote research on the individual members of the Freiburg School.

History of Economic Thought Projects

Walter Eucken, Gesammelte Werke

Five Essays on the Ordoliberal State

This project was concerned with the role of the state in early ordoliberal thinking.

The members of the Freiburg School of the 1930s and 1940s emphasised the positive tasks of government in creating a functioning market economy. In doing so, they assigned an important role to the state as “guardian of the competitive order” (Eucken). Yet, the Freiburg School did not investigate the functioning of the political process. The dissertation at hand aims to clarify the role of the state in the thinking of the founders of the Freiburg School and answer questions with regard to the legitimacy of Eucken’s competitive order.

Doctoral thesis project Daniel Nientiedt

Current Publications

2022 Hayekian Economic Policy

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 204, 2022, pp. 457 – 465 (LARS P. FELD and DANIEL NIENTIEDT). Revised version of: Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics No. 22/01, Walter Eucken Institut, Freiburg i.Br., January 2022.


2022 German Ordoliberalism and Value Freedom: The Case of Walter Eucken

History of Political Economy 54 (4), 2022, pp. 785-799 (DANIEL NIENTIEDT).


2021 The German Anti-Keynes? On Walter Eucken’s Macroeconomics

Journal of the History of Economic Thought 43 (4), 2021, pp. 548-563 (LARS P. FELD, EKKEHARD A. KÖHLER and DANIEL NIENTIEDT).