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Debt Crisis

(374 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] If a debtor can no longer make the amortization and interest payments (“debt service”) for which he or she is obligated under a credit agreement, then one may speak of a “debt crisis.” In recent decades, the public has been especially aware of the debt crisis of the developing and emerging countries (Third World). This has both in…

Malthus, Thomas Robert

(186 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] (Feb 13, 1766, Rookery, near Guildford – Dec 23, 1834, Bath, England). After studies at Cambridge, Malthus spent several years as a parish priest. In 1805 he was appointed professor of political economy at a college of the East India Company, where he taught until his death. He became …

Unemployment

(1,795 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] Economics is a social activity. It is systematically related to other social processes. It would therefore be a mistake to consider such a seri…

Market/Markets

(721 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] When buyers (consumers) and sellers (providers) of goods and services meet, the result ¶ is a market. In most cases, the meeting is not physical but virtual. Advances in communication technology have facilitated the development of such markets. Every participant in a market pursues his own specific interests. The seller wants to sell at the highest possible price and has an idea of a minimum price. The buyer wishes to buy at the lowest possible price and has an idea of a maximum price. …

Population Policy

(554 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] Population policy comes into play when population growth becomes a problem. This is especially the case when food production does not keep pace with this growth or when …

World Economic Order

(520 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] In the narrower sense, the world economic order comprises the control systems (institutions) that regulate the international exchange of goods and services (commercial regulation and financial regulation). In the broader sense, it also includes institutions that regulated the global environmental effects of economic activity and international agreements regarding labor and social standards (environmental and social order). The basic problem faced by all international regulatory sy…

Capital

(858 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] I. Few concepts in economics are as slippery as the concept of “capital.” “Capital” can be defined narrowly or broadly, in terms of macro-economics or of b…

Household

(544 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] The household is a social unit organized to meet the basic needs of its members. It is the central locus where provision is made for living – the producer of prosperity per se. A household acquires goods in the marketplace and converts them, investing time and self-¶ produced goods, into satisfaction of the needs of its members. In doing so, it engages in numerous activities, which in Germany add up to 70 to 80 billion hours annually. That is more than can be assigned to the total gainful employment of the German population. When the national income is calculated, the hours spent on household work are not taken into account. Thus a major portion of what produces prosperity does not appear in the gross national product (Gros…

Market Economy

(823 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] The goal of economic activity (Economy) is to produce goods to satisfy human needs. Benefits accrue from having this take place in the context of division of labor. But these benefits can be realized only when there is a mechanism to govern the division of labor. A market economy is such a mechanism. In a market economy, individual participants are free to pursue their own economic interests within the context of the existing legal system. This opportunity increases their motivati…

Development Policy

(644 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] Before attempting to clarify the term, a few questions must be addressed: What is “development” and what are “developing countries”? To what extent can political measures advance and direct “development” and what domestic and international instruments suit this task? Since President Truman first used the term “developing countries” in a speech in 1947, these questions have received controv…

Monopoly

(332 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] If there is only a single seller in a market, we have a (supply) monopoly. The situation when there is a single buyer is called monopsony. If a market involves a single seller and a single buyer, we speak of a bilateral monopoly. Monopolistic structures can arise through many causes. One is a reduction of unit costs, which can come about through expanded production enabled by increasing internal specialization. The first producer to take advantage of this possibility can ultimately undersell all other producers (Competitio…

Free Trade

(660 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann
[German Version] When foreign trade is free of competition-limiting state intervention, we speak of free trade. The classics of national economics already had it as one of their main tenets. They justified it philosophically and by its prosperity increasing effects. But the disputes of that time already demonstrate the degree of difficulty in accomplishing free competition between domestic and foreign vendors. Success in breaking the opposition of the landed gentry and adopting a liberalization of…

Planned Economy

(310 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann

Economics

(3,290 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Scope – II. History and Disciplines – III. Present Foci of Interest – IV. Significance for Theology I. Scope Traditionally economics has been defined primarily by its subject matter. It is the branch of inquiry that deals with economic phenomena (Economy: I). Methodologically, over a lengthy course of development (see II below) it has become increasingly autonomous, adopting th…

Competition

(890 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Economics – II. Ethics I. Economics The term “competition” is linked with the idea of rivalry, but the Latin competere makes it clear that the notion ultimately has to do with several players seeking a prize together. As competitors they strive together in an activity that demands that they give their best. Everyone profits from their competition – in economics no less than in sports. Economic competition benefits society in general precisely when those involved do no…

Africa

(8,629 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Westerlund, David | Hastings, Adrian
[German Version] I. Geopolitical Survey – II. History of Religion – III. Christianity…

Economy

(6,870 words)

Author(s): Sautter, Hermann | Rüpke, Jörg | Schneider, Helmuth | Otto, Eckart | Penslar, Derek | Et al.
[German Version] I. The Concept – II. Economic Systems and their Theories – III. Economy and Religion…