The Calculus of Consent, the second volume of Liberty Fund’s The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock, is a reprint edition of the ground-breaking economic classic written by two of the world’s preeminent economists—Gordon Tullock and Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan. This book is a unique blend of economics and political science that helped create significant new subfields in each discipline respectively, namely, the public choice school and constitutional political economy. Charles K. Rowley, Duncan Black Professor of Economics at George Mason University, points out in his introduction, “The Calculus of Consent is, by a wide margin, the most widely cited publication of each coauthor and, by general agreement, their most important scientific contribution.”
Gordon Tullock’s innovative scholarship in law and economics shines in this volume. It includes, in full, his famous book The Logic of Law, the first book to analyze the law from the perspective of economics. It also includes an influential and controversial monograph, The Case against the Common Law, the best chapters from his book, Trials on Trial, as well as a sequence of influential articles in the field of law and economics.
Editor Charles Rowley calls Gordon Tullock “an economist by nature rather than by training.” Tullock attended a one-semester course in economics for law students at the University of Chicago but is otherwise self-taught. Tullock’s background has enabled him to analyze economic problems with an open mind and to deploy his formidable intellect in a truly entrepreneurial manner.
During the past half-century Gordon Tullock continually advanced the frontiers of political economy, most particularly with respect to the workings of representative democracies and of autocracies. This ten-volume series, edited and arranged thematically, brings together Tullock’s most significant contributions to economics, political science, public choice, sociology, law and economics, and bioeconomics.
The role of the democratic state in the redistribution of wealth is the topic of this readable and lively examination of an often controversial issue. Using public choice and rent-seeking analysis as a basis, Tullock discusses the role of the democratic state in the redistribution of wealth. He adds a refreshing dose of realism to a field of economics that is often dominated by idealistic visions.
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 Rent Seeking,” contains four contributions in which Tullock elaborates on his 1980 article on efficient rent seeking. Part 3, “The Environments of Rent Seeking,” consists of eight papers that collectively display the breadth of the rent-seeking concept. Part 4, “The Cost of Rent Seeking,” comprises seven papers that address several important issues about the cost of rent seeking to society as a whole. Part 5 is Tullock’s short monograph Exchanges and Contracts, in which he develops a systematic theory of exchange in political markets. In Part 6, “Future Directions for Rent-Seeking Research,” Tullock focuses on the importance of information in the political marketplace.
Bureaucracy provides access to two important and influential books on bureaucracy by Gordon Tullock: The Politics of Bureaucracy (1965) and Economic Hierarchies, Organization and the Structure of Production (1992).
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 delights in deploying rational-choice analysis effectively to areas widely considered to be outside the domain of economics. This volume illustrates the strength of this endeavor by reproducing the very best chapters from his controversial textbook The New World of Economics. It also highlights Tullock’s innovative contributions to bioeconomics, another area in which he pioneered the application of economic methods. Other sections of this volume reproduce his best contributions to more traditional areas of study, further solidifying the innovative strength of his scholarship.
The Economics of Politics is the fourth volume in Liberty Fund’s The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock. This volume includes some of Gordon Tullock’s most noteworthy contributions to the theory and application of public choice, which is a relatively new science that links economics and political action. This volume combines the best parts of two of his books, Private Wants: Public Means and On Voting, as well as his famous monograph The Vote Motive.
The Organization of Inquiry, the third volume in Liberty Fund’s The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock, was originally published by Duke University Press in 1966. This is a treatise by one of the most stalwart practitioners of the scientific method in political economy—Gordon Tullock. Charles K. Rowley, Duncan Black Professor of Economics at George Mason University, writes in his introduction to this book, “From a purely technical perspective, this book stands out as his [Tullock’s] best-written single authored work. The book sets out his own views on scientific method—views that he would faithfully reflect in all of his subsequent scholarship.”
The Calculus of Consent was co-authored by Buchanan with Gordon Tullock, with whom Buchanan collaborated on many books and academic enterprises throughout their careers. As Robert D. Tollison states in the foreword, “[this book] is a radical departure from the way democracies conduct their business. The Calculus is already a book for the ages.”