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 October 15, 2018

Reassessing the productivity gains from trade liberalization

JAEBIN AHN, ERA DABLA-NORRIS, ROMAIN DUVAL, BINGJIE HU, LAMIN NJIE REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS Abstract: This paper reassesses the impact of trade liberalization on productivity. We build a new, unique database of effective tariff rates at the country‐industry level for a broad range of countries over the past two decades. We then explore both the direct […]

Liberty Review October 12, 2018

Government extraction and firm size: Local officials’ responses to fiscal distress in China

YU LIU JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS Abstract: This paper studies how government extraction behaviors respond to local fiscal distress in China. We exploit the 2002 Chinese Income Tax Reform which exogenously cut local government revenues from income taxes roughly by half. We find that, when facing fiscal distress, local officials resort to informal taxes, such as […]

Liberty Review October 8, 2018

Plato’s Concept of Liberty in the Laws

YOUNG, C. HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT Abstract: In this article, I argue that Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between positive and negative concepts of liberty is useful for articulating nuanced aspects of Platonic liberty, but that this terminology has led readers to fail to grasp the full dimensions of Plato’s conception of liberty and the essential virtue that […]

Liberty Review October 1, 2018

Hands, Not Lands: John Locke, Immigration and the ‘Great Art of Government’

SMITH, B. HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT Abstract: This paper looks at the transmigration of peoples in Locke’s thought, particularly the migration of foreigners into England. I pay close attention to the ‘great art of government’ passage in the Second Treatise which shows that rather than exhibiting a hard right to exclude aliens, rulers are obligated to […]

Liberty Review September 24, 2018

A Schumpeterian Model of Top Income Inequality

CHARLES I. JONES, JIHEE KIM JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Abstract: Top income inequality rose sharply in the United States over the last 40 years but increased only slightly in France and Japan. Why? We explore a model in which heterogeneous entrepreneurs, broadly interpreted, exert effort to generate exponential growth in their incomes, which tends to raise […]

Liberty Review September 17, 2018

Gordon Tullock’s Legacy

PETER BOETTKE AND ROSOLINO CANDELA, RICHARD WAGNER, WILLIAM SHUGHART, AND RANDALL HOLCOMBE THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW 23.2 Abstract: Trained as a lawyer and practiced in the arts of war and diplomacy, Gordon Tullock opened economists’ eyes to new ways of viewing constitutional construction, the challenges of bureaucracy, the nature of government regulations, the problem of rent […]

Liberty Review September 10, 2018

The Hayek-Friedman hypothesis on the press: is there an association between economic freedom and press freedom?

CHRISTIAN BJØRNSKOV JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS Abstract: The Hayek–Friedman hypothesis states that economic freedom is causally associated with stable democracy. I test a particular element of the hypothesis focusing on press freedom, which is arguably a necessary component of any democratic polity. Combining the Freedom House index of press freedom and the Heritage Foundation Index of […]

Liberty Review September 3, 2018

The Birth of Pork: Local Appropriations in America’s First Century

SANFORD C. GORDON and HANNAH K. SIMPSON AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW, Volume 112, Issue 3 Abstract: After describing a newly assembled dataset consisting of almost 9,000 local appropriations made by the U.S. Congress between 1789 and 1882, we test competing accounts of the politics surrounding them before offering a more nuanced, historically contingent view of the […]

Liberty Review August 27, 2018

Can Libertarians Get Away with Fraud?

BENJAMIN FERGUSON ECONOMICS & PHILOSOPHY, Volume 34, Issue 2 Abstract: In this paper I argue that libertarianism neither prohibits exchanges in which consent is gained through deceit, nor does it entail that such exchanges are morally invalid. However, contra James Child’s (1994) similar claim, that it is incapable of delivering these verdicts, I argue that libertarians […]

Liberty Review August 8, 2018

Lincoln and the Politics of the “Towering Genius”

STEVEN B. SMITH AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT, Volume 7, Number 3 Abstract: This article examines Lincoln’s “Lyceum Speech” with its concern for the “towering genius” in politics against the backdrop of the recent rise of populism and demagoguery. Lincoln’s concern was with a new kind of problem, namely, the appearance of the romantic hero in politics, a […]

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