Liberty Review

Liberty Review summaries are selected by Liberty Fund Fellows on the basis both of their own research interests and of their relevance for Liberty Fund’s mission: to contribute to the preservation and development of individual liberty through research and educational activities.

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Recent Posts

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Review.

Liberty Review June 11, 2018

Spinning the industrial revolution

JANE HUMPHRIES, BENJAMIN SCHNEIDER THE ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW Abstract: The prevailing explanation for why the industrial revolution occurred first in Britain during the last quarter of the eighteenth century is Allen’s ‘high wage economy’ view, which claims that the high cost of labour relative to capital and fuel incentivized innovation and the adoption of new techniques. […]

Liberty Review June 4, 2018

A culture of rent seeking

SEUNG GINNY CHOI, VIRGIL HENRY STORR PUBLIC CHOICE Abstract: Tullock [J Dev Econ 67(2):455–470, 1967] introduced the concept of rent seeking and highlighted the social costs associated with collecting and lobbying for or against tariffs, investing in human and physical capital to facilitate or protect against theft, and expending resources to establish a monopoly. A large portion […]

Liberty Review May 29, 2018

Two Rights of Free Speech

ANDREI MARMOR RATIO JURIS Abstract: My main argument in this paper is that the right to freedom of expression is not a single right, complex as it may be, but spans two separate rights that I label the right to speak and the right to hear. Roughly, the right to speak stands for the right of […]

Liberty Review May 21, 2018

Social contracts for real moral agents: a synthesis of public reason and public choice approaches to constitutional design

KEVIN VALLIER CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY Abstract: Citizens in contemporary democratic societies disagree deeply about the nature of the good life, and they disagree just as profoundly about justice. In building a social contract theory for diverse citizens, then, we cannot rely as heavily on the theory of justice as John Rawls did. I contend that Rawlsian […]

Liberty Review May 14, 2018

Resource rents and populism in resource-dependent economies

ELENA SEGHEZZA, GIOVANNI B. PITTALUGA EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Abstract: A usual explanation for populism is the existence of bad institutions, with an autocratic regime dispelling opposition by distributing income to the ‘masses’ in the manner of the ‘bread and circuses’ of Imperial Rome. In Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, populist redistribution occurred in conjunction with […]

Liberty Review May 7, 2018

The Average Period of Production: The History and Rehabilitation of an Idea

PETER LEWIN & NICOLÁS CACHANOSKY JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT, Volume 40, Issue 1 Abstract: Austrian capital theory tried to capture the intuitive and basically undeniable importance that time plays in economic life, but arguably was diverted down a blind alley with Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk’s average period of production, a purely physical measure of […]

Liberty Review April 30, 2018

Grotius on Property and the Right of Necessity

DENNIS KLIMCHUK JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Abstract: It is widely held that in situations of peril, it is permissible to use another’s property without her permission if that is the only way to save oneself from serious harm, but that if one damages or consumes that property, one ought to compensate its owner. However, […]

Liberty Review April 12, 2018

Reapplying behavioral symmetry: public choice and choice architecture

MICHAEL DAVID THOMAS PUBLIC CHOICE Abstract: New justifications for government intervention based on behavioral psychology rely on a behavioral asymmetry between expert policymakers and market participants. Public choice theory applied the behavioral symmetry assumption to policy making in order to illustrate how special interests corrupt the suppositions of benevolence on the part of policy makers. Cognitive […]

Liberty Review April 2, 2018

The Past and the Future of Innovation: some lessons from Economic History

JOEL MOKYR EXPLORATIONS IN ECONOMIC HISTORY Abstract: In recent years, economists have revived the specter of slow growth and secular stagnation. From the point of view of economic history, what should we make of such doomster prophecies? As economic historians all know, for 97 percent or so of recorded history, the stationary state well-describes the long-run […]

Liberty Review March 15, 2018

Barriers to prosperity: the harmful impact of entry regulations on income inequality

DUSTIN CHAMBERS, PATRICK A. MCLAUGHLIN, LAURA STANLEY PUBLIC CHOICE Abstract: Entry regulations, including fees, permits and licenses, can make it prohibitively difficult for low-income individuals to establish footholds in many industries, even at the entry-level. As such, these regulations increase income inequality by either preventing access to higher paying professions or imposing costs on individuals choosing […]

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