Stackelberg’s concept of the post‐war economic order

Jürgen G. Backhaus (Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Publication date: 1 December 1996


Reports that, in 1943, Heinrich Freiherr von Stackelberg (1905‐1946) discussed with an informal group meeting in Freiburg (Breisgau ‐ Germany) “Limits and possibilities of economic planning”. Explains that the group called after its chairman “von Beckerath Circle” met to discuss problems of demobilization and the post‐Second World War economic order in Germany. States that Stackelberg’s lecture was found among his manuscripts and published after his death. Notes that Stackelberg is generally considered for his contributions to economic theory; little is known about his views on economic policy. Argues that his views on theory and policy were closely linked, however. Gives a concise statement of Stackelberg’s view on the post‐Second World War economic order in Germany. Points out that he argues strongly against (central) planning of the economic process, makes the important ORDO distinction between economic policy instruments compatible and incompatible with a market economy, but he is not a pro‐market economist of the anti‐state type. Explains that the state is assigned a wide range of policy options (in terms of policy instruments compatible with the market economy), ranging from specific forms of price intervention to income policies and extensive forms of taxation.



Backhaus, J. (1996), "Stackelberg’s concept of the post‐war economic order", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 23 No. 5/6, pp. 141-148.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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