Economics

  • Politics by Principle, Not Interest

    by James M. Buchanan and Roger D. Congleton

    “Politics by principle is that which modern politics is not. What we observe is ‘politics by interest,’ whether in the form of explicitly discriminatory treatment (rewarding or punishing) of particular groupings of citizens or of some elitist-dirigiste classification of citizens into the deserving or non-deserving on the basis of a presumed superior wisdom about what is really ‘good’ for us

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  • Public Finance in Democratic Process

    by James M. Buchanan

    Public Finance in Democratic Process is James M. Buchanan’s monumental work that outlines the dynamics of individual choice as it is displayed in the process of public finance. Buchanan is perhaps nowhere more clearly a disciple of the great Swedish economist Knut Wicksell than he is in the underlying principles of this seminal work. Specifically, he elaborates on these three…

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  • Public Principles of Public Debt

    by James M. Buchanan

    Public Principles of Public Debt is one of James M. Buchanan’s most important and influential books. The radical idea he conceived was that our reliance on public debt has amassed a sort of orthodoxy that is commonly—and needlessly—assumed by taxpayers, by politicians, and by economists themselves. Buchanan dismisses the nearly universal belief (which continues to this day) that the burden…

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  • The Rationale of Central Banking

    by Vera C. Smith

    The Rationale of Central Banking was first published in England in 1936. Vera Smith spent her professional career in a variety of research positions. She wrote articles and books on money, banking, economic development, and the labor market and translated into English books by Wilhelm Röpke, Oskar Morgenstern, and Fritz Machlup. This book provides a scholarly review and judicious assessments…

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  • The Reason of Rules

    by Geoffrey Brennan and James M. Buchanan

    In his foreword, Robert D. Tollison identifies the main objective of Geoffrey Brennan and James M. Buchanan’s The Reason of Rules: “. . . a book-length attempt to focus the energies of economists and other social analysts on the nature and function of the rules under which ordinary political life and market life function.” In persuasive style, Brennan and Buchanan…

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  • The Rent-Seeking Society

    by Gordon Tullock

    The fifth volume in The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock consists of six parts, each part expounding on a separate component of the field. Part 1, “Rent Seeking: An Overview,” brings together two papers that focus on problems of defining rent-seeking behavior and outline the nature of the ongoing research program in a historical perspective. Part 2, “More on Efficient…

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  • The Social Dilemma

    by Gordon Tullock

    The Social Dilemma reflects Tullock’s contributions to areas of public choice that typically are ignored by mainstream scholars, who tend to focus on cooperative, democratic states. Tullock explores instead the workings of the dictatorial state and the economics of war between nations. Gordon Tullock is Professor Emeritus of Law at George Mason University, where he was Distinguished Research Fellow in…

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  • Socialism

    by Ludwig von Mises

    More than thirty years ago F. A. Hayek said of Socialism: “It was a work on political economy in the tradition of the great moral philosophers, a Montesquieu or Adam Smith, containing both acute knowledge and profound wisdom. . . . To none of us young men who read the book when it appeared was the world ever the same…

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  • Socialism and War

    by F. A. Hayek

    In the essays in this volume Hayek contributed to economic knowledge in the context of socialism and war, while providing an intellectual defense of a free society. The connection between the two topics is illuminated through essays containing some of Hayek’s contributions to the socialist-calculation debate, writings pertaining to war, and the cult of scientific economic planning from the late…

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  • Speeches and Evidence

    by David Ricardo

    Speeches and Evidence contains the texts of Ricardo’s numerous speeches. It consists of his speeches given in the House of Commons and evidentiary advocacies before Parliamentary committees. The introduction provides insightful context to the circumstances and events that preceded Ricardo’s appointment as a Member of Parliament and describes his subsequent influence and role on various committees.

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  • Studies on the Abuse and Decline of Reason

    by F. A. Hayek

    F. A. Hayek never published the grand project he conceived in a letter to Fritz Machlup in 1939. As described in the introduction, this work would “incorporate intellectual history, methodology, and an analysis of social problems, all aimed at shedding light on the consequences of socialism.” He told Machlup that “a series of case studies should come first, . .

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  • Theory and History

    by Ludwig von Mises

    Theory and History is primarily a critique of Karl Marx, his materialism, and his prediction of the inevitability of socialism. Marx attributes the creation of tools and machines, as well as the economic structure of society, to undefined “material productive forces.” Mises rejects this materialistic view; he points out that tools and machines are actually created by individuals acting on…

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