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Profit, Corporate

(269 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] is determined in business economics by the excess of returns over a period of time, after deduction of costs incurred during the same period by the business in pursuit of profit (Corporation, Economy). Profit is the driving force of business commitment; it raises the income of the entrepreneur above the secure level of income achievable in the market. The prerequisite for profit is that the business idea succeeds in the market. In terms of national economy, profit can be defined a…

Consumption

(352 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] Income is consumed by individuals, saved, or paid in taxes. The state also spends a portion of its income – in addition to investments, transfers, and subsidies – for consumer products. Consumption refers to all activities by private economic parties that serve the immediate satisfaction of needs. State consumption is entered into the gross national product under the key word “consumption by the state” (expenditures by the s…

Sustainability

(258 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] in general means permanence or durability. In an environmental context (Environment/Ecology), the terms sustainability and sustainable development are generally used synonymously, although different meanings lie below the surface: sustainability characterizes a present state (static population size), whereas sustainable development refers to a process (dynamic flow). The most generally accepted definition of sustainable development appears in the Brundtland report: it is “ . . . development that meets the needs of the…

Income

(341 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] originates in two ways in the process of production. Producers obtain income through the sale of goods and services at market prices. Households earn income through the application of the factors of production, labor, capital, and property. The sum of all income produced in a period comprises the national income. The source aspect of income contrasts with its usage aspect: income can be either consumed or saved. Saving implies interest income in the subsequent periods. The distrib…

Consumer

(349 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] Consumers demand goods and services (Service sector) in order to satisfy their needs. They express their preferences through their demand for different goods. If consumer selection takes place in a free economic system – as is the case in a market economy – then producers are stimulated by consumer demand to produce the desired goods: the consumer is sovereign. This should also be true for goods and services not produced by the market but …

Retirement

(362 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] is the period of time that individuals can spend as pensioners after their active participation in gainful work. Economically, retirement can be viewed from two perspectives. On the one hand, it represents a major achievement of modern industrial societies that today the elderly (Old age: II) can enjoy a longer retirement than retirees could 40 years ago. The average remaining lifetime of 65-year-olds is some ten years longer than it was in 1970. Poverty in old age has been reduce…

Walras, Marie-Esprit-Léon

(377 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] (Dec 16, 1834, Evreux, Normandy – Jan 5, 1910, Clarens, Canton of Vaud), French economist. Walras was born the son of Antoine August Walras, a teacher and amateur economist, and Louise Aline de Sainte Beuve, the daughter of a notary. After unsuccessful attendance at a mining school in Paris, he worked there as a writer and art critic until he discovered his love for the social sciences, especially economics. At an international congress on taxation in 1860, he became acquainted wi…

Credit

(391 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] A credit establishes an in personam relationship between a credit-giver (creditor) and a credit-receiver (debtor). The creditor lends the debtor an amount of money fixed by contract. In return, the debtor takes on the obligation to repay the entire amount to the creditor at the end of the term of the credit. As a fee for the credit, a specified interest rate (Interest) is agreed upon which the debtor must pay the creditor within a defined period for t…

Social Reform

(347 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] By social reform, we mean the reform of the existing social security system in general. The need for such a reform in the Federal Republic of Germany is clear for several reasons. Expenditures related to social policy, more than half of all government spending, consumes the lion’s share of all public spending. In the year 2000, the statutory social security system alone cost 416 billion euros. At present the total “social budget,” which includes government spending ¶ occasioned by distributional policy (such as social welfare and unemployment assistance), …

Multinational Corporations

(351 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] are autonomous decision-making and trading entities in the economy that bring together several legally independent and dependent corporations and businesses at home and abroad. Such concerns are founded, for example, on the basis of a large share of capital, on voting rights, on personal union in the administration or the board of directors. In a merger, by contrast, the uniting corporations and businesses lose their economic independence. The following reasons for the creation of multinational corporations may be listed: economic (such as benefi…

Shadow Economy

(330 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] In principle goods and services are provided, paid for, and cleared in markets (Market/Markets) according to prevailing rules. In recent years, however, goods and services provided in the shadow of the legal markets have played an increasingly important role. According to one current definition, the shadow economy comprises all those activities that create value in terms of the national accounts but are not (or only partly) reported in the official statistics. In particular, neith…

Schmoller, Gustav (von)

(281 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] (Jun 14, 1838, Heilbronn – Jun 27, 1917, Harzburg), economist. Schmoller taught at Halle (1864–1872), Straßburg (Strasbourg; 1872–1882), and Berlin (1882–1913). He engaged in basic interdisciplinary research, analyzing relationships between economics (Economy) and the related social sciences and integrating them into economics. Methodologically he derived many of his assertions inductively from observations of the past. He emphasized that abstractly axiomatic formalizations of hum…

Pareto, Vilfredo Federico Damaso

(291 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] ( Jul 15, 1848, Paris – Aug 19, 1923, Céligny near Geneva), economist and sociologist, son of a French mother and an Italian father. Pareto had a brilliant understanding of how to bring sociological insights into economics, and ideas from economics into sociology, and how to apply notions from each within the other discipline. In addition, following L. Walras, he further developed economics as a general theory of balance, becoming one of the founders of its current mathematical ba…

Game Theory

(592 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] The subject of game theory is the formally exact analysis of situations of interactive strategic decisions. Characteristic properties of modes of strategic behavior are typically conflicts of interest and/or problems of coordination between the players. For the economy, game theory is an indispensable tool because ¶ almost every situation of economic decision exhibits at least one strategic component. Modern textbooks on game theory distinguish a plethora of different basic types of games – with respect, for example to the nu…

Climate Change

(765 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[German Version] In comparison with the pre-industrial world in the middle of the 18th century, the con¶ centration of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere has increased greatly. As a result, some of the earth's heat radiation can no longer escape into space; instead – as in a greenhouse – it is reflected back to earth, leading to an increase in the mean temperature of the earth's surface. The most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), which is produced primarily by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. Other major greenhouse g…

Interest

(3,846 words)

Author(s): Grundmann, Stefan | Bayer, Stefan | Schneider, Helmuth | Kessler, Rainer | Strohm, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Legal Aspects – III. Economics – IV. Non-Christian Antiquity – V. Bible – VI. Christianity – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. Concept Interest is payment in exchange for a right of use or exploitation, typically on a temporary basis and always agreed for a fixed period of time. Money later gained increasing importance as an object of lending and now occupies a dominant position, although other items or rights remain possible as objects of lending, as for example rent. In economics (see III below), this mutual commitment between the conferral…

Unternehmensgewinn

(231 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] . Der U. ermittelt sich aus betriebswirtschaftlicher Sicht als Überschuß der Erträge einer Periode abzüglich der Kosten, die in der gleichen Periode in der Unternehmung (Unternehmen, Wirtschaft) zur Ertragserzielung anfallen. Der Gewinn ist die Triebkraft unternehmerischer Engagements: Er steigert das Einkommen der Unternehmer über die sicheren, am Markt erzielbaren Einkommen hinaus. Voraussetzung dazu ist, daß sich die Geschäftsidee am Markt durchsetzt. Volkswirtschaftlich kann der U. als Saldogröße des gesamtwirtschaftlichen Produktionsk…

Nachhaltigkeit

(233 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] soll i.allg. Dauerhaftigkeit bedeuten. Im Umweltkontext (Umwelt/Ökologie) werden die Begriffe N., Sustainability, nachhaltige Entwicklung, Sustainable Development etc. in der Regel synonym verwendet, obgleich sich auch in den angesprochenen Begriffen unterschiedliche Bedeutungen verbergen: N. beschreibt einen momentanen Zustand (Bestandsgröße), wohingegen sich im Begriff nachhaltige Entwicklung ein Prozeß ausdrückt (Stromgröße). Die am weitesten verbreitete Definition einer nachh…

Zins

(3,316 words)

Author(s): Grundmann, Stefan | Bayer, Stefan | Schneider, Helmuth | Kessler, Rainer | Strohm, Christoph | Et al.
[English Version] I. Zum BegriffDer Begriff Z. geht zurück auf census (lat. Steuerkataster). Konzeptuell dem heutigen Z. vergleichbar sind jedoch erst die ma. censuales oder censuarii, (anfangs noch abhängige) »Zinsleute«, die dem Herrn für die Nutzung von Land periodisch Abgaben entrichteten. Der Z. mochte hier noch immer eine (hoheitliche) Abgabe sein, entscheidend war jetzt jedoch erstmals und blieb seitdem: die Zahlung für die Nutzungsüberlassung, typischerweise periodisch, stets nutzungszeitab…

Schattenwirtschaft

(294 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] . Grundsätzlich werden Leistungen auf Märkten nach herrschenden Regeln ausgeführt, bezahlt und abgerechnet. In den letzten Jahren nehmen jedoch Leistungen, die im Schatten der legalen Märkte erbracht werden, einen immer größeren Stellenwert ein. Die Sch. umfaßt in einer gängigen Definition somit all diejenigen Tätigkeiten, die im Sinne der volkswirtschaftlichen Gesamtrechnung Wertschöpfung darstellen, aber in den amtlichen Statistiken nicht bzw. nur zum Teil ausgewiesen werden. I…

Sozialreform

(304 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] . Unter S. versteht man die Reform des bestehenden sozialen Sicherungssystems i. allg. Eine Reformnotwendigkeit wird in der Bundesrepublik aus mehreren Gründen gesehen: Die Sozialpolitik stellt mit mehr als der Hälfte aller staatl. Ausgaben den Löwenanteil der Ausgabenpolitik dar. Allein das gesetzliche Sozialversicherungssystem (Sozialversicherung) weist i.J. 2000 ein Volumen von 416 Mrd. Euro auf. Das gesamte »Sozialbudget«, in dem zusätzlich noch Ausgaben des Staates, die aus …

Ruhestand

(331 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] . Mit dem R. wird die Zeitspanne bez., die Menschen nach ihrer aktiven Beteiligung am Erwerbsleben als Rentner oder Pensionäre verbringen können. Die Beurteilung des R. aus ökonomischer Sicht kann aus zwei Blickwinkeln erfolgen: Auf der einen Seite stellt es eine wesentliche Errungenschaft moderner Industriegesellschaften dar, daß heute alte Menschen (Alter: II.) ihren R. deutlich länger ausleben können als es die Rentnergeneration vor 30 Jahren konnte. Die statistische Restleben…

Schmoller

(267 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] Schmoller, Gustav v. (24.6.1838 Heilbronn – 27.6.1917 Harzburg). Der Ökonom Sch. lehrte in Halle (1864–1872), Straßburg (1872–1882) und Berlin (1882–1913). Er betrieb interdisziplinäre Grundlagenforschung, indem er Beziehungen zw. der Ökonomie (Wirtschaft) und den angrenzenden Sozialwiss. analysierte und in die Ökonomie integrierte. Methodisch leitete er einen Großteil seiner Aussagen induktiv aus Beobachtungen der Vergangenheit ab. Er betonte, daß abstrakt axiomatische Formalisier…

Walras

(353 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] Walras, Marie-Ésprit Léon (16.12.1834 Evreux, Normandie  – 5.1.1910, Clarens, Kanton Waadt). Der franz. Ökonom W. wurde als Sohn eines Lehrers und Hobby-Ökonomen, Antoine Auguste W., und der Tochter eines Notars – Louise Aline de Sainte Beuve – geboren. Nach dem erfolglosen Besuch einer Bergbauschule in Paris betätigte er sich dort als Schriftsteller und Kunstkritiker, ehe er seine Liebe zu den Sozialwissenschaften und hier insbes. zur Ökonomie (Wirtschaft) entdeckte. Auf einem int…

Spieltheorie

(520 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] . Gegenstand der S. ist die formal exakte Analyse von interaktiven strategischen Entscheidungssituationen. Charakteristische Eigenschaften der strategischen Verhaltensweisen sind typischerweise Interessenkonflikte und/oder Koordinationsprobleme zw. den Spielern. Für die Ökonomie (Wirtschaft) ist die S. ein unverzichtbares Werkzeug, weil nahezu jede ökonomische Entscheidungssituation mindestens eine strategische Komponente aufweist. Moderne Lehrbücher zur S. unterscheiden eine Fül…

Pareto

(265 words)

Author(s): Bayer, Stefan
[English Version] Pareto, Vilfredo Federico Damaso (15.7.1848 Paris – 19.8.1923 Ce´ligny bei Genf). Der Ökonom und Soziologe – Sohn einer Französin und eines Italieners – verstand es glänzend, soziologische Überlegungen in die Ökonomie (Wirtschaft) und ökonomische Gedanken in die Soziologie einzubringen und sie im jeweils anderen Bereich anzuwenden. Zudem hat er die Ökonomie in Anlehnung an L. Walras als allg. Gleichgewichtstheorie fortentwickelt und ihre heutige mathematische Fundierung mitbegründ…
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