Digitization poses great challenges for our society. On the one hand, there are questions of how economic policy deals with the supposed digital transformation. What are the implications for labour market, tax and social policy? Is a fundamental reorientation of social policy necessary in view of increasing automation? Can citizens and consumers be protected from the risks of information capitalism, and if so, how?
On the other hand, digital technologies such as Blockchain (known through the digital currency Bitcoin), artificial intelligence and algorithms fundamentally question the organizations and institutions of economy and society. Both libertarian and capitalism-critical ideas play an important role in this context. What does it mean when start-up companies and technological initiatives want to see and promote fundamental reorganizations of the social market economy on the horizon? What is to be thought of mind games which, against the background of digitalisation, put the spotlight on opportunities for a far-reaching democratisation of the economy? What (and possibly who) is behind these narratives, what effect do they have? The contributions in this yearbook discuss concrete economic policy challenges in the context of fundamental questions about the future order of the economy and its institutional architecture.
Sturn, Hirschbrunn, Klüh
The “crisis of liberalism” that has been smouldering for several years is on everyone’s lips. The sometimes dynamic, sometimes tense relationship between economic liberalism and other fundamental liberal values is the main focus of attention. From Karl Marx to Milton Friedman, very different thinkers have portrayed the common dynamics of capitalism and freedom. It was precisely the promise of the “neoliberal” turn that was not limited to prosperity, but also referred to autonomy, individuality and freedom of choice.
Again and again, however, developments come to light that reveal tensions, dialectics and paradoxes of this common dynamic. For economic liberals such as Rainer Hank, the worrying way in which the political is currently reappearing in populist-exclusive counter-movements is primarily an expression of deep self-satisfaction. However, competition and the dynamics of growth and globalization create constraints that trigger unease even in those who are neither satisfied nor complacent. Schumpeter stressed that negative effects of innovation processes concentrate on “losers of modernization”. And some things seem to simply outgrow the inhabitants of the modern age, such as digital technologies and globalization. The individual is at their mercy and cannot opt out of them – although some digital monopolies are deliberately constructed in such a way as to make it more difficult to opt out.
In addition to illiberal democracy, forms of capitalism are now a real possibility that have little to do with freedom. The essays in this volume analyse relevant fundamental problems from various perspectives. Specific approaches (digitisation, liability principle, women and labour market, caring) are complemented by empirical and theoretical studies on the interrelation of freedom, democracy and market economy.
In addition to the theoretical principles for assessing sustainability, this practical handbook conveys a positive attitude towards ecological and social business models. Sustainability is more than a social requirement or a philanthropic consideration. Rather, it is an entrepreneurial opportunity for founders and established companies. For both target groups, this book provides an integrated approach to the development of sustainable business models for start-ups and established companies. With around 800 current examples of sustainable business models from various industries, it becomes an important consultant for every entrepreneur.
Heinemann, Klüh, Watzka
This volume investigates different aspects of monetary policy and prevention of financial crises. It discusses some recently suggested measures for central banks’ responses to liquidity shortages and to the liquidity trap, methods for assessing the potential of crisis contagion via the interbank network, and the interaction between micro- and macro-prudential regulation. It compares different approaches for solving the eurozone sovereign-debt problem and provides a new and intriguing explanation for rising income inequality. The authors are experts on monetary policy, financial crises, and contract theory from different European universities and central banks.
Hardly any other topic currently polarizes the energy policy discussion as strongly as the extraction of shale gas and shale oil with the help of fracking processes. For supporters, the expansion of unconventional gas and oil production offers an opportunity to intensify competition in the oil and gas markets, lower prices and reduce dependence on uncertain supplies from OPEC and Russia through increased domestic production. The critics, on the other hand, emphasize the environmental risks associated with fracking and see the expansion of the fossil energy base as an obstacle to the transition to renewable energies required by climate policy.
The German legislator emphasizes the environmental risks associated with fracking and has effectively banned fracking with the Fracking Legislative Package of June 24, 2016. Internationally, however, the advantages and disadvantages of fracking are assessed very differently, so that a further expansion of unconventional oil and gas production is to be expected. Fracking is currently concentrated almost exclusively in the USA. Numerous studies are investigating the potential, the cost-effectiveness of the various extraction methods and the environmental effects. The American shale gas production therefore offers an excellent object of study for assessing the technology, its profitability and its consequences.
This book evaluates the current studies and data and contributes to the assessment of the long-term energy and climate policy significance of shale gas production in an international context.
Gisela Kubon-Gilke, in cooperation with Ulrich Klüh and others
This book develops an interdisciplinary approach underpinned by epistemological and scientific theory in order to give a new shape to the theory of social policy. Three core topics will be addressed:
- The fundamentals of individual behaviour and the question of the selection of suitable behavioural assumptions for social policy theory in general as well as for the modelling of various individual social policy questions and for reform processes are examined.
- Functioning of economic and social self-organisation processes on the basis of individual behavioural dispositions as well as genuine cause-effect relationships of spontaneous orders are analysed.
- The significance of normative positions on justice and freedom and their consequences for welfare state programmes will be discussed.
Gisela Kubon-Gilke has won 32 additional authors for this interdisciplinary approach. The jointly developed theory is based on gestalt theoretical, psychological connections of human thinking, feeling and acting and systematically records, among other things, many of the phenomena currently discussed in behavioural economics. The approach developed here offers an independent framework for social policy in general and orientation for the various socio-political fields.