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Public Choice and Constitutional Economics (Political Economy and Public Policy) (v. 6) Hardcover – March, 1988

ISBN-13: 978-0892329359 ISBN-10: 0892329351

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Product Details

  • Series: Political Economy and Public Policy (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Jai Pr (March 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892329351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892329359
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,237,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This 1988 book is a collection of papers (several of which were originally presented at a 1986 symposium), including some written by the founders of Public Choice theory, James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock.

The editors write in the first paper, "Public choice analysis is to governments what economic analysis is to markets. In both cases, outcomes will reflect the choices of individuals and the incentive structure which influences those choices. In the political arena, the major players are voters, politicians, and bureaucrats. It is useful to visualize the political process as a complex set of interrelationships among members of these three groups." (Pg. 7)

They observe that economists have used the self-interest postulate to develop theories which enhance our understanding of how markets work, and that "Public choice represents an extension of this postulate to politics." (Pg. 7) While the pursuit of profit is the primary stimulus for market suppliers, Public Choice theory postulates that "the pursuit of votes is the primary stimulus shaping the behavior of political suppliers." (Pg. 8)

They summarize the Buchanan/Tullock book The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy (Ann Arbor Paperbacks): "The 'Calculus' sought to outline... the conditions that must be present for the individual to find it advantageous to enter into a political entity with constitutionally delineated ranges of activities or to acquiesce in membership in a historically existent policy." (Pg. 132) In Tullock's paper, however, he laments that since the book was written, "almost no further research along the same lines" has been done." (Pg. 139)

This book contains some interesting discussion about not only Public Choice theory, but also about constitutional governmental issues.
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