Gordon Tullock’s contribution to bureaucracy

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Buchanan, J. (1986). The qualities of a natural economist. In C. K. Rowley (Ed.), Democracy and public choice (pp. 9–19). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Machiavelli, N. (1952). The prince. New York: New American Library.

    Google Scholar 

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

    Google Scholar 

  4. Niskanen, W. A. (1971). Bureaucracy and representative government. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Tullock, G. (1965). The politics of bureaucracy. Washington: The Public Affairs Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Tullock, G. (1972). Review of Bureaucracy and representative government. Public Choice, 12, 119–124.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Tullock, G. (1974). Dynamic hypothesis of bureaucracy. Public Choice, 19, 127–131.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to William A. Niskanen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Niskanen, W.A. Gordon Tullock’s contribution to bureaucracy. Public Choice 152, 97–101 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-011-9851-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Bureaucracy
  • Hierarchical-pyramids
  • Rational-choice approach
  • Information-loss