Liberty Review

Liberty Review features a selection of abstracts of recently published articles in academic journals. 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 November 19, 2018

Do dictatorships redistribute more?

PANTELIS KAMMAS, VASSILIS SARANTIDES JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS Abstract: This paper examines the effect of political institutions on fiscal redistribution for a country-level panel from 1960–2010. Using data on Gini coefficients before and after government intervention, we apply a measure of effective fiscal redistribution that reflects the effect of taxes and transfers on income inequality. Our findings clearly […]

Liberty Review November 15, 2018

The People’s Perspective on Libertarian-Paternalistic Policies

AYALA ARAD, ARIEL RUBINSTEIN THE JOURNAL OF LAW AND ECONOMICS, Volume 61, Number 2 Abstract: We examine the views toward libertarian-paternalistic (soft) governmental interventions in a series of online experiments conducted in three countries. We use both standard and new methods to elicit attitudes toward soft interventions in various hypothetical scenarios. The majority of the participants […]

Liberty Review November 12, 2018

Working Out the Details of Hume and Smith on Sympathy

JOHN MCHUGH JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Abstract: Many scholars have had interesting things to say about the relationship between Adam Smith’s and David Hume’s theories of sympathy. The diversity of angles taken in these discussions demonstrates how fertile a topic of investigation this relationship is. This paper takes as its point of entry Hume’s […]

Liberty Review November 9, 2018

Correctional Autonomy and Authority in the Rise of Mass Incarceration

KERAMET REITER, KELSIE CHESNUT ANNUAL REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Abstract: Much of the literature explaining both mass incarceration and increasingly harsh punishment policies has been dominated by a focus on factors external to prisons, such as macrolevel explanations that point to political factors (like a popular rhetoric of governing through crime) or social structures […]

Liberty Review November 7, 2018

Titles for me but not for thee: transitional gains trap of property rights extension in Colombia

PERRY FERRELL PUBLIC CHOICE Abstract: I apply Tullock’s transitional gains trap to the formalization of property titles in Latin America to understand public choice problems in mending institutions. In an area where land is owned by formal and informal institutions, policies to extend property rights will not be supported by voters holding legal title because it […]

Liberty Review November 5, 2018

Arbitration in classical Athens

BRYAN C. MCCANNON CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY Abstract: The Classical Athenians developed two formal arbitration procedures. They assigned low stakes disputes to a panel of arbitrators, while high stakes cases were handled by a single arbitrator. Given the information aggregation benefit of collective decision making, one would have expected more individuals to be assigned to more important […]

Liberty Review November 1, 2018

Racial Bias in Bail Decisions

DAVID ARNOLD, WILL DOBBIE, CRYSTAL S. YANG THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS Abstract: This article develops a new test for identifying racial bias in the context of bail decisions—a high-stakes setting with large disparities between white and black defendants. We motivate our analysis using Becker’s model of racial bias, which predicts that rates of pretrial misconduct […]

Liberty Review October 29, 2018

Tullock and the welfare costs of corruption: there is a “political Coase Theorem”

MICHAEL C. MUNGER PUBLIC CHOICE Abstract: Gordon Tullock developed an approach to understanding dynamic processes of political change and policy outcomes. The key insight is the notion that political insiders have a comparative advantage—because they face lower transaction costs—in manipulating rules. The result is that political actors can collect revenues from threatening to restrict, or offering to […]

Liberty Review October 25, 2018

Fired Up by Morality: The Unique Physiological Response Tied to Moral Conviction in Politics

KRISTIN N. GARRETT POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY Abstract: Studies provide mounting evidence that morally convicted attitudes elicit passionate and unyielding political responses. Questions remain, however, whether these effects occur because moral conviction is another strong, versus a distinctly moral dimension of attitude strength. Building on work in moral psychology and neuroscience, I argue that moral conviction stems from […]

Liberty Review October 22, 2018

Can fiscal rules constrain the size of government? An analysis of the “crown jewel” of tax and expenditure limitations

PAUL ELIASON, BYRON LUTZ JOURNAL OF PUBLIC ECONOMICS, Volume 166 Abstract: Fiscal rules attempt to alter budget outcomes by constraining policy makers. They have been one of the primary responses to the recent string of fiscal crises around the globe. We ask if these rules succeed in altering fiscal outcomes by examining what is arguably the […]

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