James M. Buchanan

A Theorist of Political Economy and Social Philosophy

This book explores the academic contribution of James Buchanan, who received the Nobel Prize for economics in 1986. Buchanan’s receipt of the Prize is noteworthy because he was a maverick within the economics profession. In contrast to the preponderance of economists, Buchanan made little use of mathematics and no use of econometrics, preferring to used logic and language to insert his ideas into the scholarly community. Moreover, his ideas extended the domain of economic inquiry along many paths that numerous economists subsequently pursued. Buchanan’s scholarship brought economics and political science together under the rubric of public choice. He was also was a prime figure in bringing economic theory into closer contact with moral and social philosophy.This volume includes essays distributed across the extensive domain of Buchanan’s scholarly contributions, reflecting the range of his scholarly interests. Chapters will examine Buchanan’s scholarly work on public finance, social insurance, public debt, public choice, economic methodology, constitutional political economy, law and economics, and ethics and social theory. The book also examines Buchanan in relation to other prominent economists, both from the distant past and the recent past.


Selections from Hayek Program Scholars: 

Who Was James M. Buchanan and Why Is He Significant? - Richard E. Wagner

James Buchanan and the Properly Trained Economist - Peter J. Boettke & Rosolino Candela

Emergence, Equilibrium, and Agent-Based Modeling: Updating James Buchanan's Democratic Political Economy - Abigail N. Devereaux & Richard E. Wagner

The Conflict Between Constitutionally Constraining the State and Empowering the State to Provide Public Goods - Lawrence H. White

The Unproductive Protective State: The U.S. Defense Sector as a Fiscal Commons - Christopher J. Coyne & Thomas K. Duncan

Samaritan's Dilemmas, Wealth Redistribution, and Polycentricity - Meg Patrick Tuszynski & Richard E. Wagner

Beneficent Bullshit - Peter T. Leeson

Groups, Sorting, and Inequality in Constitutional Political Economy - Jayme S. Lemke

Votes, Vetoes, Voice, and Exit: Constitutional Protections in the Work of James M. Buchanan and Vincent Ostrom - Roberta Q. Herzberg

Buchanan, Hayek, and the Limits of Constitutional Ambitions - Donald J. Boudreaux

Diagnosing the Electorate: James Buchanan in the Role of Political Economist - Solomon M. Stein

Artefactual and Artisanship: James M. Buchanan and Vincent Ostrom at the Core and Beyond the Boundaries of Public Choice - Paul Dragos Aligica