Monday, April 09, 2012

Wilhelm Röpke and "the new global macroeconomics" that is needed

A friend wrote to me as follows:

I remember having talked to you about Röpke's book called in German "Jenseits von Angebot und Nachfrage" (Beyond supply and demand). I had some hints about a translation but never found the real one. I happened to stumble over it (Amazon gave me the hint) and it is called "A humane economy" in English (I must admit, I like the German title much better). It can be found under:

Röpke was the father of the German reconstruction (economic advisor to AdenauerIn and Erhard). In this book, Röpke crystalizes the indispensable moral basis of a functioning market economy, a lesson sadly forgotten.

I hope you will find time to read this fantastic book.


I responded as follows:

Dear W

I am a little familiar with Röpke's work which, in its moral dimensions, reminds me of Adam Smith's work (though the latter asserts morality as necessary to economics, Smith did not foresee quite as active a role e.g. for central banks in the matter)

However, I find all economists, including Röpke, unsatisfactory in their discussion of real-world economics as that is today - because all economists seem to me to be too focused on their own nation-state

We need a new macroeconomics for a global economy, and that has not been provided yet - perhaps an interesting project for younger academics - though I naturally hope that, when they do, they might like to look at some of my work as providing at least some odd thoughts that may be worth considering.


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