Ist Bildung öffentliches Gut?

von Christian P. Hoffmann*

Erschienen am 1. April 2019 bei Liberales Institut.

Ist Bildung tatsächlich ein öffentliches Gut? Die starke Rolle des Staates im Bildungssektor wird oftmals mit dem Argument gerechtfertigt, bei der Bildung handle es sich um ein öffentliches Gut. Doch dieses Argument hält einer genaueren Überprüfung nicht stand. Ein «öffentliches Gut» ist in der ökonomischen Theorie klar definiert, es weist eine Nichtrivalität und Nichtausschliessbarkeit im Konsum auf. Und selbstverständlich lassen sich Menschen von einem Studium ausschliessen – genau diesem Zweck dient der Numerus clausus. Der Platz in den Vorlesungssälen und die Zeit der Dozierenden ist sehr wohl beschränkt.

Wenn schon kein öffentliches Gut, so das Gegenargument, dann ist aber Bildung doch im öffentlichen Interesse, denn es weist positive Externalitäten auf. Was dabei nicht berücksichtigt wird: Praktisch jedes Gut hat auch negative Externalitäten, die gegen die positiven aufzuwiegen sind. Auch sind positive Externalitäten eben Externalitäten, also nicht internalisiert, weil sie schwierig zu internalisieren sind. Das Problem der Mobilität kommt noch hinzu: Was, wenn gut Gebildete den Kanton oder das Land verlassen?

Ein weiterer Grund, positive Externalität nicht für eine Rechtfertigung öffentlicher Förderung zu halten, sind die verzerrenden Effekte eben dieser Förderung: Beispielsweise widmen sich immer mehr Leute einem Hochschulstudium, anstatt einer Arbeit nachzugehen, ein Unternehmen zu gründen und Wohlstand zu schaffen. So paradox das auch klingt: Die geförderte Bildungsinflation könnte auch ärmer machen.

Es ist möglich, dass die Bildungspolitik durch seine Subventionseffekte, Inflation, Präferenzverschiebung, mangelnde oder falsche Internalisierung externer Effekte etc. unter dem Strich mehr Schaden als Nutzen anrichtet. Letztlich krankt das Bildungssystem an denselben Mängeln aller Planwirtschaften …

Lesen die den gesamten Beitrag hier -> Download PDF

* Christian P. Hoffmann ist Professor für Kommunikationsmanagement am Institut für Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft an der Universität Leipzig und Forschungsleiter am Liberalen Institut.

Mark your calendar: Gottfried von Haberler Conference 2019

“Denying the science and technology of which genetic engineering is the current striking manifestation is simply an ostrich reaction and cannot solve our problems.” – Bernard E. Rollin

When Naive Presumptions
prompt Hasty Judgments:
On the Benefits and Problems
of Genetic Engineering

Wenn Vermutungen zum Urteil werden:
Die Gentechnologie am Pranger

Gottfried von Haberler Conference 2019 | The 15th International Gottfried v. Haberler Conference will take place on May 17, 2019 at University of Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Conference topic: When Naive Presumptions prompt Hasty Judgments: On the Benefits and Problems of Genetic Engineering. The event will be organized and hosted by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation. The support of the University of Liechtenstein and multiple local and international sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.

By invitation only

Admission: General CHF 100/Euro 150; Students CHF 50/Euro 50

Academic Director: Kurt R. Leube
Tel. +1 650 248 4955 (krleube at
and Tel. +43 676 942 8980 (krleube at

Administration: Rosmarie Lutziger
Tel. +423 235 1570 (Rosmarie.Lutziger at

Media Matters: Karin Brigl
Tel. +423 235 2344 (karin.brigl at

Conference Program on May 17, 2019

9:00-9:30  Registration/Fee
9:30-9:45  Welcome and Opening by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

Session I:  Biotechnology – Origins, Advances and Current State (9:30-12:00)
9:45-10:00  Chair: Peter Fischer (CH)
10:00-10:30From Vaccination to Gene Therapy: What does modern Biotechnology do?” – H.S.H. Princess Therese of Liechtenstein (LI)
10:30-10:45  Discussion
10:45-11:15  Coffee break
11:15-11:45  “Tales of Woe: How Regulation Has Destroyed Entire Sectors of Biotechnology” – Henry I. Miller (USA)
11:45-12:00  Discussion
12:00-13:30  Buffet Luncheon for all participants at conference site

Session II:  Organic, Bio, Natural? On Ignorance and Semantic Traps (13:30-15:15)
13:30-13:45  Chair: Vinzenz von Thurn-Valsassina (A/UY)
13:45-14:15  “Überforderte Gesetzgeber: Was unterscheidet konventionelles und genomisches Züchten?” – Klaus Ammann (CH)
14:15-14:30  Discussion
14:30-15:00  “Only Evidence Matters! Towards a Rational Dialogue on GMOs!” – Agnes Ricroch (F)
15:00-15:15  Discussion
15:15 – 15:45  Coffee break

Session III:  Shackles on Men’s Mind? On the Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (15:45-18:10)
15:45-16:00  Chair: Henrique Schneider (CH)
16:00-16:30  “On Biotech Crops, Environmental Impact and Climate Change” – Graham Brookes (UK)
16:30-16:45  Discussion
16:45-16:50  Chair
16:50-17:20  “Können GVOs helfen die Welt zu ernähren?” – Matin Qaim (D)
17:20-17:35  Discussion
17:35-18:00  Discussion (general)
18:00-18:10  Farewell address: H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
18:20-18:30  Transportation by bus to the cocktail reception at Vaduz Castle
18:30-19:45  Cocktail Reception at Vaduz Castle

Relevant literature will be offered for sale by

Mark your calendar: 12th Vernon Smith Prize

Vernon Smith Prize 2019
Vernon Smith Prize 2019: Call for Papers

The topic of the 12th International Vernon Smith Prize has been announced:

When the People fear their Government,
there is Tyranny.
When the Government fears the People,
there is Liberty

A democratic government derives its authority from the consent of the governed and is loosely defined as a set of institutions through which we adjudicate our disputes, defend our rights and protect honestly acquired property. Under the rule of liberty the government is assigned the duty of impartial umpire, and each individual gives reason, intent and moral scope to his own life. As long as a person does not violate the rights of others he is sovereign over his own affairs. Tyranny on the contrary, is characterized as a government that is an active player in people’s affairs. From a dictatorship to the benevolent welfare state all shapes of despotism wield their political authority and legitimized power of coercion to assure certain outcomes or forms of behavior considered desirable to determine how the members of the society may live, work, and associate with each other. Thus, the challenge in a democratic society is to keep government constrained and limited so that individuals can prosper and solve problems as free, independent and responsible citizens. However, it is the character rather than the volume of government activity that is important and ought to be specified in a constitution.

1st Prize: €4,000  |  2nd Prize: €3,000  |  3rd Prize: €2,000

All entries need to meet the following requirements:

1: Entries may be submitted by individuals of up to 30 years (in 2019).

2: Entries may not exceed 12 pgs.; 1.5 space; left/right margins no less then 1 inch; including a full bibliography and a 1/2 page summary

3: Entries must be submitted in English in electronic form (pdf) to and must include a current CV with DoB.

4: Entries must be received on or before November 18, 2019.

5. It is mandatory that all prizewinners participate in the award ceremony in Vaduz.

Prizes are not transferable and will be awarded on the basis of originality, grasp of subject, and the logical consistence of the argument. An international jury will judge the essays and the winners will be invited to present their papers at a special event in Vaduz, the Principality of Liechtenstein on February 13, 2020.

The International Vernon Smith Prize for the advancement of Austrian Economics is an annual essay competition sponsored and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation, Vaduz (Principality of Liechtenstein).

A choice for economies: Freedom or socialism

GIS Statement by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

Last week the OECD again cut its forecasts for the global economy in both 2019 and 2020. The organization cited Brexit and insecurity due to the United States-China trade dispute as the reasons behind its decision. Under the same pretext, the European Central Bank decided to postpone its first postcrisis interest rate hike. Officials at the ECB said they consider the two above-mentioned “threats” as damaging for the eurozone economy.

freedom or socialism
freedom or socialism

We can agree that Brexit is not helpful to the global economy and has caused quite a bit of collateral damage. Yet, it is not a major threat. The so-called U.S.-China “trade war” may soon be settled and, as we have seen before, is a dispute, not a war. True, it is louder than most trade squabbles, but we can expect a settlement eventually. In fact, an agreement could put some constraints on China that might even improve the efficiency of its economy in the long run.

In light of this more pragmatic, longer-term perspective, one can easily come to the cynical conclusion that Brexit and the U.S.-China trade conflict are godsends to the OECD and ECB: they have a ready-made excuse for the failure of their prognoses and their refusal to accept basic economic facts.

Dangerous doctrine

Officials at the bank say they are worried about deflation. Indeed, we are in a deflationary environment. However, deflation is only damaging if it is due to overcapacity. Today’s deflation is due to production having become more efficient: goods and services can be provided at lower cost at equal or better quality. This is actually advantageous.

A certain credo prevails with many economists that economies can be enhanced and kept stable by strong government intervention, tax harmonization at a high level, some inflation and excessive debt policies. This principalist, authoritarian, centralist, and also socialist doctrine leads to planned economies. Yet it is seemingly accepted and even promoted by the OECD. Little wonder its forecast was wrong.

Unfortunately, these practices and perspectives are symptoms of a more general global trend that has been embraced by a wide group of decision- and policymakers. Excessive regulation is blocking good regulations from being implemented.

It is an old tenet of authoritarian, and especially socialist, systems that people and economies should be planned and controlled by governments. We know from experience that we need the rule of law and legal frameworks, but these should limit rather than augment government influence and control. Here, the authoritarian regimes of the past failed. We also know that the essential ingredient for prosperity is a market economy, based on individual responsibility, competition and entrepreneurship.

The very successful German system, which helped the country rebuild and then develop quickly after its defeat in World War II, was based on the principles of a free market and personal property rights. A legal framework set parameters that were not excessive and allowed everyone, including the weaker members of society, to participate. Most importantly, it also limited government intervention. The principles were called Ordoliberalism but unfortunately it has since been watered down.

We should worry that the world’s democracies – and for this, the so-called populists or “illiberal democrats” cannot be blamed – are now approaching the same level of planning and control in which the autocrats of the past were trapped. This creeping socialism threatens free society.

Read the original article here ->
Freedom or socialism

*GIS is a global intelligence service providing independent, analytical, fact-based reports from a team of experts around the world. We also provide bespoke geopolitical consultancy services to businesses to support their international investment decisions. Our clients have access to expert insights in the fields of geopolitics, economics, defense, security and energy. Our experts provide scenarios on significant geopolitical events and trends. They use their knowledge to analyze the big picture and provide valuable recommendations of what is likely to happen next, in a way which informs long-term decision-making. Our experts play active roles in top universities, think-tanks, intelligence services, business and as government advisors. They have a unique blend of backgrounds and experience to deliver the narrative and understanding of global developments. They will help you develop a complete understanding of international affairs because they identify the key players, their motivations and what really matters in a changing world. Our experts examine the challenges and opportunities in economies old and new, identify emerging politicians and analyze and appraise new threats in a fast-changing world. They offer new ideas, fresh perspectives and rigorous study.

Mark your calendar: ECAEF/CEPROM Conference on Dec 9/10, 2019

IV. ECAEF/CEPROM Conference, Monaco 2019

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand”.  Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Topic of the IV. International ECAEF/CEPROM Conference:

Towards a Viable Alternative

Markets and Entrepreneurship
to Protect the Environment

Friends of the ECAEF: mark your calendar! The IV. International ECAEF/CEPROM conference is an Academic Conference by invitation only, planned and organized by ECAEF – European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation (FL); hosted by CEPROM – Center of Economic Research for Monaco (MC).

Academic Director:
ECAEF: Kurt R. Leube (

Administrative Director:
CEPROM: Emmanuel Falco (

Media Contacts:

Conference Date: Dec. 9/10, 2019

Musee Oceanographique de Monaco, Principality of Monaco

Conference Languages:
English/French; simultaneous translation.

We will update you with a detailed conference program once it has been released. Stay tuned.