Virginia Political Economy, Rationally Reconstructed
Originally published in SSRN
This article employs a form of rational reconstruction to articulate the hard core programmatic logic of Virginia political economy that has arisen through scholarly interaction.
The idea of an identifiable school of thought denoted as Virginia political economy was in play at least as early as 1963, and it is reasonable to conclude that this identifier began to take shape some years earlier. It is common though not universal to identify a school of thought sociologically by the academic residence of the main figures associated with the creation and propagation of a particular set of ideas. By this approach, Virginia political economy is associated with the three academic venues where James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock did their work. In contrast, this paper takes a methodologically substantive approach to definition. It does this by employing a form of rational reconstruction to articulate the hard core programmatic logic of Virginia political economy that has arisen through scholarly interaction. Consequently, Virginia political economy acquires an analytical rather than a regional or sociological identity.