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Neue Publikation - The acceptance of the Social Market Economy in Germany





Germany’s economic order is labelled ‘Social Market Economy’ in order to indicate that the economic system has both an economic and a social dimension. Its purpose is to reconcile efficiency goals and social responsibility. The concept of the Social Market Economy is based on central values such as freedom or justice. Under the label Social Market Economy, Germany has become an extensive social welfare system. However, the acceptance of this economic system has decreased over the last two decades. Especially in the eyes of young citizens, the value of justice is no longer upheld in Germany. Competition as an organising principle of economy is no longer esteemed but considered a threat and freedom has lost appreciation as a value. The goal of the study is to find out what the conception of Social Market Economy among first year undergraduate students looks like. In the context of the educational reconstruction model, we compared the students’ conceptions to professional assumptions in order to create a new pedagogical structure. The method is a qualitative approach, analysing students’ essays on Social Market Economy and its values. During the study, we found out that young people’s attitudes towards the economy and values highly correlate with their cognitive knowledge and education.

Author Biographies

  • Hans Jürgen Schlösser is the Chairman and Speaker of the Center for Economic Education in Siegen www.economic.education.
  • Michael Schuhen is the General Manager of the Center for Economic Education in Siegen www.economic.education.
  • Susanne Schürkmann is a Research Assistant at the Center for Economic Education in Siegen.