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OF ALCOHOL, APES, AND TAXES: GÜNTER SCHMÖLDERS AND THE REINVENTION OF ECONOMICS IN BEHAVIORAL TERMS

Jhet Assistant and Rüdiger Graf

No vyarx, OSF Preprints from Center for Open Science

Abstract: The article examines an early and idiosyncratic version of behavioral economics or “empir-ical socio-economics,” which the German economist and taxation expert Günter Schmölders developed in the postwar decades. Relying on both his published papers and his lecture notes and correspondence, it scrutinizes Schmölders’ intellectual upbringing in the tradition of the Historical School of Economics (Historische Schule der Nationalökonomie) and his relation to the emerging ordoliberalism, demonstrating that the roads that led to dissatisfaction with the emerging neoclassical mainstream and the unrealistic behavioral assumptions of macro-economic models were manifold. Accordingly, it shows that behavioral economics is compati-ble with various intellectual and political backgrounds and convictions. Yet, it still forms a dis-tinct entity: Comparing Schmölders with contemporary and later behavioral economists, I will show that they shared essential methodological assumptions as well as an understanding of human beings as decision-making organisms.

Date: 2020-09-21
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-his, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-pke
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:osf:osfxxx:vyarx

DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/vyarx

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