The WZB Berlin Social Science Center investigates fundamental societal issues. Our focus is on education and work, markets and choice, migration, democracy and autocracy, international politics and law. At the WZB researchers from various disciplines work together – mainly from sociology, political science, economics, law and psychology.
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What does our safety cost? Good care? Mobility? Hardly anything comes for free; our society is based on exchange and performance. What everyone gets is usually regulated by prices. Prices determine who can afford what. And if certain goods - such as education - are not to be valued in monetary terms, other mechanisms of value assessment must be found.
The September issue of WZB-Mitteilungen is devoted to the value we assign to things, conditions and services. Not only economists can contribute to the topic of "prices", but all those who deal with questions of distribution in society.
What’s the price of freedom?
Starting from considerations of whether liberal freedom has a price, Michael Zürn turns in his essay to two much-discussed theoretical models of freedom: positive and negative freedom. What does the liberal understanding of freedom mean for liberal thinking in times of climate change? What are its implications for the political practice of liberal democratic societies?
How are goods distributed in markets without prices? Some municipalities use centralised allocation procedures for nursery and secondary school places. In his contribution, Christian Basteck addresses the question of what strategic considerations the algorithm of these procedures requires on the part of the users and whether incentives are given to communicate false preferences for strategic motives.