Wettbewerbsfreiheit und Wohlfahrt (Freedom of Competition and Welfare)

ORDO: Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Vol. 63, pp. 429-448, 2012

Max Planck Private Law Research Paper No. 12/2

28 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012 Last revised: 15 Feb 2016

See all articles by Ernst-Joachim Mestmäcker

Ernst-Joachim Mestmäcker

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Freedom of competition and economic welfare have identical economic foundations. These concepts diverged, however, as they became subject of the disciplines of economics and law, of systems of philosophy or of narratives of probable or inevitable historical developments. This paper looks at some of the more influential philosophical ideas in terms of their persistent direct or indirect influence on our present understanding of competition and welfare. Particularly notable are perceived or received antinomic interpretations of competition as a condition of economic welfare, as an individual right, an instrument of economic organisation or the purpose of rules against restrictions of competition. As far as the competition law relevance is concerned the crucial issue is the uncertain causal relation of competitive or anticompetitive conduct and its welfare effects. The theoretical and practical difficulties in verifying welfare effects become irrelevant by treating competition as a process of coordinating decentral economic planning and freedom of competition as a governing principle of a private law society.

Keywords: Pareto-optimality, utilitarianism, Amartya Sen, EU-Competition Law, invisible hand, Jeremy Bentham, Hegel, Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, interdependencies, ordoliberalism, more economic approach, internal market, human rights, Foucault

Suggested Citation

Mestmäcker, Ernst-Joachim, Wettbewerbsfreiheit und Wohlfahrt (Freedom of Competition and Welfare) (2012). ORDO: Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, Vol. 63, pp. 429-448, 2012, Max Planck Private Law Research Paper No. 12/2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1983193

Ernst-Joachim Mestmäcker (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law ( email )

Mittelweg 187
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49 40 41 900 299 (Phone)
+49 40 41 900 304 (Fax)

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