nep-ger New Economics Papers
on German Papers
Issue of 2009‒11‒14
seven papers chosen by
Roberto Cruccolini
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen

  1. Einige historische und gesetzgeberische Faktoren der Reformierung der georgischen Statistik By David Kbiladze
  2. Die Ursachen der Finanz- und Bankenkrise im Lichte der Statistik By Andreas Nastansky; Hans Gerhard Strohe
  3. 60 Jahre Grundgesetz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einige Bemerkungen zu Demokratie und Föderalismus in Deutschland aus schweizerischer Perspektive By Gebhard Kirchgässner
  4. Finanzhilfen des Bundes - Eine Bestandsaufnahme By Alfred Boss; Astrid Rosenschon
  5. Arbeitswerte und die Theorie der Unternehmung. Teil I: Die Unternehmung unter vollständiger Konkurrenz By Hagendorf, Klaus
  6. Über die Natur und das Wesen des Geldes – Johann Heinrich von Thünens unveröffentlichter Beitrag zur Geldtheorie By Ludwig Nellinger
  7. Das schwindende Vertrauen in die Marktwirtschaft und die Folgen für das Recht [The Eroding Trust in Capitalism and its Consequences for Law] By Christoph Engel

  1. By: David Kbiladze
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Andreas Nastansky; Hans Gerhard Strohe
    Abstract: Finanz- und Bankenkrisen können seit Jahrhunderten beobachtet werden und gründen auf ähnlichen Verhaltensweisen der Beteiligten. Wie die vergangenen zwei Jahre gezeigt haben, variieren hingegen die den Krisen zugrundeliegenden tieferen Ursachen und Mechanismen. Durch statistische Daten wird gezeigt, wie die Immobilienpreise in den USA zunächst stiegen. Wegen erwarteter weiterer Wertentwicklung wurden Kredite auch an Schuldner geringer (subprime) Bonität gegeben und Risiken als forderungsbesicherte Wertpapiere auf globalen Märkten veräußert. Als sich die Wachstumserwartungen nicht erfüllten, vermehrten sich Rückzahlungsausfälle lavinenartig. Vom amerikanischen Hypothekenmarkt breitete sich die Krise auf die internationalen Banken und im weiteren Verlauf auf die Weltwirtschaft aus.
    Keywords: Finanzkrise, Banken, Subprime-Krise, forderungsbesicherte Wertpapiere, Interbankenmarkt, Abschreibungen
    JEL: G20 E58
    Date: 2009–11
  3. By: Gebhard Kirchgässner
    Abstract: In comparing Switzerland and Germany, this paper discusses basic but potentially conflicting constitutional principles and the problems which can arise from such conflicts and which have to be handled by a constitution. We concentrate on three central areas: (i) the tension between democracy and the rule of law, (ii) direct versus (purely) representative democracy, and (iii) competitive versus co-operative federalism, where we also discuss problems of fiscal equalisation systems. Finally, we present some proposals for a reform of the German political system.
    Keywords: Direct Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Federalism, Fiscal Equalisation
    JEL: H11 H70
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Alfred Boss; Astrid Rosenschon
    Abstract: Subsidies granted by the German federal government decreased in the 1998–2004 period. Since 2005, subsidies have increased. The transfers to the compulsory health insurance system were raised by very large amounts. Moreover, the subsidies for re-integrating the unemployed were raised. The results are based on a comprehensive definition of subsidies; tax expenditures are not included, however
    Keywords: Subsidies, intergovernmental transfers
    JEL: H29 H71
    Date: 2009–10
  5. By: Hagendorf, Klaus
    Abstract: This paper is the first part of a Marxian critique of the theory of the firm focusing on the analysis of labour values. Starting from Adam Smith's example of the deer hunter, marginal analysis is introduced culminating in the derivation of the Labour Value Function as the supply curve of the competitive firm in terms of labour values. The analysis is based on a new definition of labour value which is Marxian in spirit and respects modern mathematical optimization methods not found in Marx and offers a further development and coherent interpretation of Marx's value theory. The analysis is limited to the case of the competitive firm.
    Keywords: Marxian economics; labour theory of value; value theory; marginal analysis; microeconomics; theory of the firm; marginal cost; labour value function; supply function; Adam Smith
    JEL: B51 D21 D46 B14 A13 D41 B24
    Date: 2009–11–09
  6. By: Ludwig Nellinger
    Abstract: The economic works of Johann Heinrich von Thünen include 1,000 unpublished pages of drafts and notes on the basis of which he prepared the second volume of his famous “Isolated State in Relation to Agriculture and Political Economy”. Thünen wrote his texts in the so-called Deutsche Kanzleischrift, a script which can be read today only by specialised histori-ans, rarely by economists. In a first part of a research project of the Thünen-Gesellschaft e.V. 300 pages were transliterated, from which the first 60 pages were reviewed until October 2009. It becomes obvious that Thünen’s work is much more far-reaching than the contributions pub-lished by himself or edited by Schumacher in 1863 and 1875 show. Its bulk was not made accessible until today. This can be easily demonstrated by the content of these first 60 pages, especially those treating monetary questions and preparing Thünen’s theory of capital and interest. Thünen starts his analysis with a description of the diminishing return of money keeping in an enterprise. He considers both the exchange and the stock function of money. He describes the pros and cons of the creation of paper money as a substitute for coins. Thünen is the first economist who develops an extended quantity theory of money by introducing the velocity of money transactions and formulating the correct algebraic formula. He anticipates the famous Newcomb-Fisher equation but with one difference: in Thünen’s opinion the prod-uct of velocity and quantity of money primarily determines the value of circulating capital goods and assets, an argument which has to be understood with the contemporary rural eco-nomic conditions in mind. He analyses the liquidity effect of positive exogenous money shocks. By describing the adap-tation processes in the case of differences between the monetary market interest rate and the real rate of return on capital goods, Thünen presents important mechanisms of Knut Wick-sell’s “Interest and Prices”, which were published 75 years later and still inspire the monetary economists today. In accordance with Henry Thornton, he adequately describes the conse-quences of liquidity preference in the case of uncertain economic situations. In our opinion Thünen’s 1823 contribution is of the same quality as the contributions of the leading monetary theorists in the early 19th century, David Ricardo and Henry Thornton. With respect to the further theoretic development in the nineteenth and twentieth century and from the perspective of modern monetary theory, Thünen’s drafts are an unexpected discov-ery and of particular interest in the current financial and economic crisis. The paper concludes with a preliminary assessment of Thünen’s text in the context of the sec-ond volume of the “Isolated State”, which was published in 1850 and which contains Thünen’s “Theory of Capital and Interest”.
    Keywords: Dogmengeschichte, Kapital- und Zinstheorie, Quantitätstheorie, Verkehrs-gleichung, Geldnachfrage, Liquiditätspräferenz
    JEL: B13 B16 D53 E31 G12
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Christoph Engel (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: On both sides of the Atlantic, legislators consider a cap on manager income. As a redistributive intervention, the cap would be misplaced. It affects such a small number of persons that the effect on the Gini coefficient would be negligible. Redistribution is, however, not the raison d’être of the rule. The public perceives a very high yearly income of some as a signal for a lack of solidarity in society, especially if recipients are responsible for low wages or even unemployment of many. Based on demoscopic data from Germany, this article shows that generalised trust in capitalism has indeed severely suffered. It explains why this is troublesome news for the legal order. From this starting point, it discusses the justification of a cap on manager income, despite the fact that the German constitution (unlike the US Lochner jurisprudence) in principle protects economic freedom of managers, firms and stockowners. While it cannot offer a strict proof that manager income works as a signal, if offers a piece of indirect evidence. By way of regression analysis, it shows that the Gini coefficient explains interviewees’ assessment of the justice of capitalism very well, once one controls for the unemployment rate in the year in question, plus the interaction between both explanatory variables.
    Keywords: cap on manager income; generalised trust in capitalism, Gini coefficient, limits to interventions into fundamental freedoms, unemployment rate
    JEL: G34 J31 K22 L22 P10
    Date: 2009–10

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