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Religion, Society, and the Market: The Contribution and the Legacy of Wilhelm Röpke (1899–1966)

Giuseppe Franco

Abstract


The social market economy that shaped the Federal Republic of Germany after the catastrophe of the National Socialist regime is more than just an economic order based on the principle of competition. Its central concern is embedding its economy in a sociopolitical order and a normative and legal framework with special consideration of the social, ethical, and personal aspects of economic life. This article examines first the social philosophy and economic ethics of the German economist Wilhelm Röpke, one of the pioneers and founding fathers of the social market economy. Second, it shows the points of convergence between the principles of Catholic social teaching and the theoretical and ethical foundations of the social market economy. After analyzing Röpke’s concept of the social responsibility of entrepreneurs, it concludes by presenting the relevance and legacy of Röpke’s thought to business ethics today.

Giuseppe Franco, "Religion, Society, and the Market: The Contribution and the Legacy of Wilhelm Röpke (1899–1966)," Journal of Markets & Morality 23, no. 1 (2020): 77-114.


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