De jure naturae et gentium: Samuel von Pufendorf's contribution to social choice theory and economics

Autor(en): Gaertner, W
Stichwörter: Business & Economics; Economics; Mathematical Methods In Social Sciences; Social Sciences, Mathematical Methods
Erscheinungsdatum: 2005
Herausgeber: SPRINGER
Volumen: 25
Ausgabe: 2-3
Startseite: 231
Seitenende: 241
Pufendorf's major work on ``The Law of Nature and of Nations'' has never been considered to have had much influence on economics and on the development of economics as a science. The present paper by no means attempts to propagate a different view. This would be inappropriate. However, what Pufendorf says about the importance of contracts among the members of a community and the formation of supreme sovereignty is highly relevant for the social sciences. But not only this. Economists will, perhaps, be surprised to read something about externalities and future discounting in Pufendorf's work. Also the phenomenon of conspicuous consumption was clearly described. Most stunning for social choice theorists probably will be that Pufendorf more or less explicitly discussed a preference structure that was single-peaked along a single dimension. And the collective result proposed conforms to that of the median voter.
ISSN: 01761714
DOI: 10.1007/s00355-005-0002-1

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