Ekkehart Simple

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Ekkehart Schlicht (* 1945 in Kiel ) is a German economist and university professor . He has been Professor of Economics at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich since 1993 .


After graduating from high school in Rendsburg , Schlicht studied economics in Kiel and Regensburg. In Regensburg, he completed his doctorate in 1971. Dr. rer. pole. ; in his dissertation he dealt with the topic of wealth distribution . This was followed by teaching activities at the University of Regensburg , a visiting professorship at the University of Bonn , and then professorships at the Universities of Bielefeld and Darmstadt .

Between 1987 and 2001, Schlicht was visiting professor at Brown University in Providence , the University of Minnesota and the University of Melbourne, and the University of California at Berkeley . He was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin . At Princeton, Solomon Asch introduced him to gestalt theory , which subsequently determined his thinking and his theories, especially his theses on justice .

Since 1993 he has held the chair for theory and politics of income distribution at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. Famous predecessors at the chair were Lujo Brentano and Max Weber . Schlicht has been retired since 2010.

Views on current issues in economic policy

In Schlicht's view, lowering non-wage labor costs does not reduce unemployment . Rather, it would make wage increases more probable, which in turn would increase wage pressure, increase prices, and ultimately increase unemployment. Shifting the ancillary wage costs onto the employees does not change anything for the economy as a whole.

Schlicht agrees with the theory of John Maynard Keynes in principle - this is supported by the current trend in unemployment - but he has objections to some of the economic policy measures proposed by Keynes.

In accordance with Keynes' theses, Schlicht does not believe that increasing national debt in times of unemployment will burden future generations. Rather, an increase in government spending - and thus in debt - leads to an increased demand for goods, and thus increased employment and improved qualifications. In Schlicht's opinion, associated investments lead to increased productivity and overall improved living conditions for future generations. Above all, today's loans would be repaid to later generations, so they do not lead to a burden, but at most to a redistribution for the descendants.

Lowering wages for less skilled workers would not reduce high unemployment. Rather, unemployment is always concentrated in low-skilled workers. Lower prices for products made by low-skilled workers go hand in hand with reduced demand for other products and reduced employment in this sector. The more highly qualified workers thus freed up then take on jobs that require lower qualifications and in turn displace the workers who are sufficiently qualified for these activities to less qualified jobs. The consequence would be more unemployed people who push into the low-wage sector. The process leads to an increase in overqualification in all labor market segments. This is economically inefficient and ethically unjustifiable.

She simply speaks out against debt limits as in the Maastricht Agreement and in the Basic Law, because permanent national debt may be necessary not only in the short-term, but also in the long-term to secure growth and full employment. A debt brake would force permanent underemployment and stagnation in such circumstances. Conversely, permanent surpluses of government revenue over government spending may also be necessary under other constellations. In such circumstances, a balanced government budget would have an inflationary effect. Therefore, the financial policy must be based on the respective economic requirements.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Schlicht 2001 about his time at Princeton: "The late Solomon Asch initiated me there, so to speak, to Gestalt psychology." See Schlicht 2001, p. 51.
  2. http://www.semversorgung.vwl.uni-muenchen.de/mitarbeiter/es/meinung/lohnnebenkosten.htm
  3. http://www.semversorgung.vwl.uni-muenchen.de/mitarbeiter/es/meinung/staatsverschuldung.htm
  4. Wage formation in modern labor markets: Neither fair nor efficient.
  5. Wage spread and efficiency
  6. ^ Wage Dispersion, Over-Qualification, and Reder Competition
  7. http://k.web.umkc.edu/keltons/Papers/501/functional%20finance.pdf
  8. http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/2143/1/schlicht-public-debt-13-RP.pdf