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Wulf Christian Gaertner Edit Profile

economics professor

Wulf Christian Gaertner is a German economics professor. Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, 1985-1986. Member Osnabrücker Friedensgespräche, since 1994; member executive committee, chairman committee economic and ethics in Verein Socialpolitik, Hamburg, Germany, since 1994. Member Econometric Society, European Economic Association, Gesellschaft Wirtschafts und Sozialwissenschaften.

Background

Gaertner, Wulf Christian was born on December 11, 1942 in Berlin. Son of Herbert Carl and Ursula Helene (Liebald) Gaertner.

Education

Diploma, Dr rer. pol. University Bonn, 1969, 1973. Habilitation University Bielefeld, 1978.

Career

Assistant University Bielefeld, Germany, 1973-1978, lecturer, 1978—1980. Professor economics University Osnabrück, Germany, since 1980. Occasional teacher London School of Economics and Political Science, since 2000, Lachmann research professor, since 2006.

Visiting fellow London School of Economics, 2000, All Souls College, Oxford, England, 1984, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1990—1991, 1995—1996. Murphy Institute Distinguished visiting professor Tulane University, New Orleans, 1987.

Works

Views

Every economist will agree that preferences (tastes) are not constant over time. Experience and learning, habit formation and the social environment seem to be important factors of influence. My early work concentrated on these phenomena and developed a dynamic model of consumer behaviour where emphasis was on social interdependence.

Phenomena such as imitation of other people’s consumption behaviour or the desire to be different from others were some of the items discussed within a difference equation model. Very recently, my interest has come back to systems of difference equations and behavioural patterns over time. Nonlinear difference equations can produce highly regular, but also very irregular time paths.

These patterns seem to contradict the well-known axioms of choice consistency.

Another subject of interest was and still is the existence of soical welfare functions. As is well known, there are

many escape routes from Arrow’s impossibility result. Some of my work concentrated on new domain conditions being both necessary and sufficient for an Arrowian welfare function to exist.

Some other work in the area focussed on the integration of personal rights into the collective choice process: under what kind of conditions is it possible to grant particular rights to individuals, rights that cannot be overridden by society? Some recent work dealt with the issue of distributive justice, investigating the axiomatic structure behind utilitarianism, the Rawlsian theory of justice and other structurally related justice principles.

Membership

Member Osnabrücker Friedensgespräche, since 1994. Member executive committee, chairman committee economic and ethics in Verein Socialpolitik, Hamburg, Germany, since 1994. Member Econometric Society, European Economic Association, Gesellschaft Wirtschafts und Sozialwissenschaften.

Interests

  • Other Interests

    Music, theater, tennis.

Connections

Married Antje Theresia Hartweg. 1 child, Sabine.

father:
Herbert Carl Gaertner

mother:
Ursula Helene (Liebald) Gaertner

spouse:
Antje Theresia Hartweg

child:
Sabine Gaertner