Public Choice

, Volume 152, Issue 1–2, pp 97–101 | Cite as

Gordon Tullock’s contribution to bureaucracy

  • William A. NiskanenEmail author


Gordon Tullock is justly valued for his contributions to understanding the nature of bureaucracy. Specifically, Tullock draws on his own experience in the US state department to develop a rational choice model of the hierarchical relationships between individuals within non-market organizations. The closest prior such model is that outlined by Machiavelli to characterize the predictable behavior of a sovereign and his immediate subordinates. Tullock’s 1957 book provided the foundation for my own 1971 contribution, and for an ensuing research program into the economic analysis of bureaucracy and representative government.


Bureaucracy Hierarchical-pyramids Rational-choice approach Information-loss 


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  3. von Mises, L. (1944). Bureaucracy. New Haven: Yale University Press. Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Cato InstituteWashingtonUSA

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