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Public Choice Economics

MARCH 24, 2013

Public choice economics is the study of politics within an economic framework. It views actors within a political system – i.e., politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups, and voters - as self-interested parties, rather than individuals who pursue the public good. A politician, for example, will likely seek re-election as his or her primary goal. This will make him or her inclined to accept funding and special favors from lobbying groups. Individual voters, on the other hand, gain little benefit from becoming politically aware but incur relatively high costs in acquiring relevant political information. Not only does their participation in the political process tend to be ill-informed, but voters will likely vote for politicians who promise to provide them with free goods and services. Public choice analysis suggests that these poor political incentives can diminish the general welfare as each party seeks its self-interest.

 

Ivan Pongracic - Public Choice Economics

 

Isaac Morehouse - Public Choice

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November 2014

It's been 40 years since F. A. Hayek received his Nobel Prize. His insights, particularly on the distribution of knowledge and the impossibility of economic planning, remain hugely important today. In this issue, we look back on the influence of his work. Max Borders and Craig Biddle debate whether liberty must be defended from one absolute foundation, further reflections on Scottish secession, and how technology is already changing our world for the better--including how robots, despite the unease they cause, will only accelerate this process.
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