Original Paper

Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 28-49

First online:

The ‘science-as-market’ analogy: a constitutional economics perspective

  • Viktor J. VanbergAffiliated withWalter Eucken Institut, University of Freiburg Email author 

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The ‘science-as-market’ analogy has been used in support of the notion that in science just as in markets competition works as an effective instrument for reconciling the self-interested ambitions of individual agents with the social function that science and markets are supposed to serve. This paper examines the analogy from a constitutional economics perspective, drawing attention to the role that the rules of the constitution of the ‘game of science’ as well as the ‘market game’ play in conditioning the ways in which competition works in the two realms.


Science ‘Invisible-hand’ explanation Economic methodology Constitutional constraints

JEL Classification

A12 B41