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 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 […]

Liberty Review August 1, 2018

Economic Foundations of the Territorial State System

AVIDIT ACHARYA, ALEXANDER LEE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Abstract: The contemporary world is organized into a system of territorial states in which rulers exercise authority inside clearly defined boundaries and recognize the authority of other rulers outside those boundaries. We develop a model to explain how the major economic and military developments in Europe starting […]

Liberty Review July 26, 2018

Money as meta-rule: Buchanan’s constitutional economics as a foundation for monetary stability

PETER J. BOETTKE, ALEXANDER W. SALTER, DANIEL J. SMITH PUBLIC CHOICE Abstract: This paper explores James Buchanan’s contributions to monetary economics and argues these contributions form the foundation of a robust monetary economics paradigm. While often not recognized for his contributions to monetary economics, Buchanan’s scholarship offers important insights for current debates, especially the renewed interest […]

Liberty Review July 16, 2018

Escape from Europe: a calculus of consent model of the origins of liberal institutions in the North American colonies

VLAD TARKO, KYLE O’DONNELL CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY Abstract: The migration out of Europe and the establishment of North American colonies presents us with a great puzzle: why did the colonists establish democratic forms of governance? Considering that early democratic colonies appeared even before philosophical works such as those of Locke and Montesquieu were written, it is […]

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 […]

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