In 1986, James M. Buchanan was awarded the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Universally respected as one of the founders of the “public choice” school of economics, he is the author of numerous books and hundreds of articles in the areas of public finance, public choice, constitutional economics, and economic philosophy. He is best known for such works as The Calculus of Consent, The Limits of Liberty, The Power to Tax, and The Reason of Rules. Buchanan has devoted himself to the study of the contractual and constitutional basis for the theory of economic and political decision making. In part one of this conversation, Buchanan discusses the theory of public choice, his exchange theory of economics, and constitutional thought. In part two, the conversation turns to such topics as the work ethic, the logic of free markets, subjectivism, anarchy, federalism, the Nobel Prize in Economics, and Buchanan’s personal experiences and philosophy.
Public Finance in Democratic Process is James M. Buchanan’s monumental work that outlines the dynamics of individual choice as it is displayed in the process of public finance.
The thirty-one papers presented in this volume offer scholars and general readers alike a comprehensive introduction to the work of one of the greatest economists of the modern era. Many of Buchanan’s most important essays are gathered in this inaugural volume of the twenty-volume series from Liberty Fund of his Collected Works.
Public Principles of Public Debt is one of James M. Buchanan’s most important and influential books. The radical idea he conceived was that our reliance on public debt has amassed a sort of orthodoxy that is commonly—and needlessly—assumed by taxpayers, by politicians, and by economists themselves.
This monumental twenty-volume series presents the writings of James M. Buchanan, one of the great twentieth-century scholars of liberty. Buchanan, the Nobel laureate in Economics in 1986, has much wisdom to offer—not just to academics and economists—but to all who seek to understand the challenges and opportunities of governance in our age.
While this volume presents the important writings of James M. Buchanan on taxation and debt, Geoffrey Brennan makes it clear in the foreword that the thrust of Buchanan’s work in this area has been to integrate theories of taxation and debt with public-expenditure theory. Therefore, the editors strongly urge that the present volume on taxation and debt be read in tandem with the subsequent Volume 15, Externalities and Public Expenditure Theory.
In his foreword, Geoffrey Brennan states, “The papers in this volume represent a coherent set of pieces focused on aspects of public-expenditure theory and constitute all of Buchanan’s papers in this area.”
In his foreword, Robert D. Tollison identifies the main objective of Geoffrey Brennan and James M. Buchanan’s The Reason of Rules: “. . . a book-length attempt to focus the energies of economists and other social analysts on the nature and function of the rules under which ordinary political life and market life function.”
Commenting on his collaboration with Geoffrey Brennan on The Power to Tax, James M. Buchanan says that the book is “demonstrable proof of the value of genuine research collaboration across national-cultural boundaries.” Buchanan goes on to say that “The Power to Tax is informed by a single idea—the implications of a revenue-maximizing government.”
This volume is a collection of sixteen essays on three general topics: the methodology of economics, the applicability of economic reasoning to political science and other social sciences, and the relevance of economics as moral philosophy. Several essays are published here for the first time, including “Professor Alchian on Economic Method,” “Natural and Artifactual Man,” and “Public Choice and Ideology.”
A well-trained theologian, a gifted and dedicated teacher of economics for over forty years, and the author of a highly regarded and widely-used textbook, The Economic Way of Thinking, Paul Heyne influenced generations of students of economics. Many of the essays in this volume are published here for the first time. The editors have divided Heyne’s essays thematically to cover three general areas: the ethical foundations of free markets, the connection between those ethical foundations and Christian thought, and the teaching of economics—both method and substance.