Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Economic Systems

Lecture in the Economics Department #102078

Seminar in the Philosophy Department #16043

Time and Place:

 Lecture: Mondays, 10-12, online via WebEx 
 Exercise: Thursdays, 14-16, HS 104 

Office Hours:

Prof. Giacomo Corneo by secretarial appointment giacomo.corneo@fu-berlin.de
Prof. Stefan Gosepath by secretarial appointment stefan.gosepath@fu-berlin.de

This is a combined interdisciplinary course in economics and political philosophy. This course provides students with an introduction to the study of alternative economic systems. After offering an overview of current fundamental criticisms of capitalism, the first part of the course will focus on the normative underpinnings of the evaluation of economic systems: efficiency, distributive justice, autonomy. The second part of the course will concentrate on several alternative economic systems, developing an analytical and critical view of their fundamental properties. The course grade is defined by a final exam (in Economics) and a term paper (in Philosophy) at the end of the semester.

Students must register in CMS and only those who have registered in CMS will be registered on Blackboard. All online communication will be organized via Blackboard. We want to conduct the course syncron online via WebEx as far as possible. Students don’t need extra software, but stable and sufficient internet access during that time.

Required Bibliography:

  1. Corneo, Giacomo. Is Capitalism Obsolete? A Journey through Alternative Economic Systems. Harvard University Press 2017.
  2. Elster, Jon. Sour Grapes. CUP 1983.
  3. Roemer, John. Theories of Distributive Justice. Harvard University Press 1996.

Recommended Bibliography:

  1. Bernheim, Douglas. “On the potential of neuroeconomics: A sober (but hopeful) appraisal”, AEJ: Microeconomics 1 (2009): 1-41.
  2. Binmore, Ken. Rationality. In: Handbook of Game Theory 2015.
  3. Heal, Geoffrey. “Planning Without Prices”, Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 36, No. 3 (July 1969): 53-71.
  4. Knight, Frank. “The Ethics of Competition”, Quarterly Journal of Economics 1922.
  5. Kornai, Janos. The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism. Princeton University Press 1992.
  6. Lange, Oskar. “On the Economic Theory of Socialism, Part One”, Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1 (October 1936): 53-71.
  7. Piketty, Thomas. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Harvard University Press 2014.
  8. Stiglitz, Joseph. Economics of the Public Sector.
  9. Wright, Erik Olin. Envisioning Real Utopias. Verso 2010.
  10. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justice-distributive/
  11. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equality/

Property-Owning Democracy

  1. John Rawls, Justice as Fairness, Cambridge 2001, §§ 41, 42, 52.
  2. Martin O’Neill, „Free (and Fair) Markets without Capitalism”, in: ders./Thad Williamson (Hrsg.), Property-Owning Democracy, Chichester 2012, S. 75-100.

Market Socialism

  1. David Schweickart, “Property-Owning Democracy or Economic Democracy?”,in: O’Neill/Williamson (Hrsg.), Property-Owning Democracy, a.a.O., S. 201-222.

Egalitarian Market Socialism

  1. Joseph Carens, Equality, Moral Incentives, and the Market. An Essay in Utopian Politico-Economic Theory, Chicago 1981, S. 4-35, 96-99.

‘Coupon’- Market Socialism

  1. John Roemer, „Equal Shares”, in: Erik Olin Wright (Hg.), Equal Shares: Making Market Socialism Work, London 1996, S. 7-39.

Cooperative Market Socialism

  1. Jon Elster, “From Here to There: Or, If Cooperative Ownership Is So Desirable, Why Are There So Few Cooperatives?”, in: Social Philosophy & Policy, 6(2), 1989, S. 93–111.

Platform Cooperativism

  1. Trebor Scholz, “Platform Cooperativism. Challenging the Corporate Sharing Economy”, eds. Stefanie Ehmsen and Albert Scharenberg, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office, 2016.

Council Democracy

  1. Gabriel Wollner, “In Defense of Council Democracy”, in: James Muldoon (Hrsg.), Council Democracy : Towards a Democratic Socialist Politics, New York 2018.
  2. Robin Hahnel, Of the People, by the People. The Case for a Participatory Economy, Chico 2012, S. 47-50, 74-77, 89-113.


  1. Sutterlütty und Meretz, Kapitalismus aufheben, Hamburg 2018, chap 6: „Commonismus“, S. 154-188.


Final exam (in Economics) at the end of the semester

Term paper (in Philosophy) at the end of the semester break


Week 1: Capitalism and Its Discontents

20.04.2020, Common Lecture

  • Corneo, Prologue

Week 2: Normative Criteria: Distributive Justice I

27.04.2020, Gosepath, Utilitarianism and Rawls

  • Roemer, Ch. 4-5

Week 3: Normative Criteria: Distributive Justice II

4.05.2020, Gosepath, Responsibility and egalitarianism

  • Roemer, Ch. 6-7-8

Week 4: Normative Criteria: Autonomy I

11.05.2020, Corneo, Judgement

  • Elster, Part I

Week 5: Normative Criteria: Autonomy II

18.05.2020, Corneo, Preferences

  • Elster, Part III

Week 6: Common Ownership

25.05.2020, Corneo

  • Corneo, Ch. 2-4.

Week 7: Central Planning

8.06.2020, Corneo

  • Corneo, Ch. 5.

Week 8: Workers’ Self-Management

15.06.2020, Gosepath

  • Corneo, Ch. 6.

Week 9: Market Socialism

22.06.2020, Corneo

  • Corneo, Ch. 7.

Week 10: Shareholder Socialism

29.06.2020, Corneo

  • Corneo, Ch. 8

Week 11: Basic Income and Basic Capital

6.07.2020, Gosepath

  • Corneo, Ch. 9.

Week 12: A Progressive SWF

13.07.2020, Corneo

  • Corneo, Ch.
Research Seminar in Economics