The Contribution of Public Choice to Public Utility Economics — a Survey

  • Charles B. Blankart


Public choice is an economic approach to collective decision making. This means that the emergence ofcollective decisions is explained by the axioms of individuals’ self-interest and rational choice. The logic of the market behaviour is thus extended to the behaviour in politics. In this paper it is shown, how specific kinds of political decisions, those on the regulation of markets, can be explained by the tools of public choice.


Public Choice Economic Adviser Collective Decision Public Utility Public Enterprise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bernholz, P. (1966) ‘Economic Policies in a Democracy’, Kyklos, vol. 19, fasc. 1, pp. 48–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernholz, P. (1979) Grundlagen der Politischen Ökonomie, vol. 3, Kapitalistische und sozialistische Marktwirtschaft, (Tübingen: Mohr).Google Scholar
  3. Bernholz, P. (1974) ‘Logrolling, Arrow-Paradox and Decision Rules: A Generalization’, Kyklos, vol. 27, fasc. 1, pp. 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blankart, Ch. B. (1979) ‘Die wirtschaftspolitische Bedeutung von Skalenerträgen öffentlicher Unternehmen’, Zeitschrift für öffentliche und gemeinwirtschaftliche Unternehmen, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1–25.Google Scholar
  5. Blankart, Ch. B. (1981) ‘Towards an Economic Theory of Advice and its Application to the Deregulation Issue’, Kyklos, vol. 34, fasc. 1, pp. 95–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blankart, Ch. B. (1980) ‘Über die relative Effizienz von Markt und Bürokratie aus der Sicht der Vertragstheoie’, in E. Boettcher, Ph. Herder-Dorneich and K. E. Schenk (eds), Neue Politische Ökonomie als Ordnungstheorie, (Tübingen: Mohr) pp. 200–6.Google Scholar
  7. Blankart, Ch. B. and J. C. Bongaerts (1982) ‘On the Political Economy of Optimal Taxation’, Munich, University of the German Armed Forces and University of Leyden, mimeo.Google Scholar
  8. Boiteux, M. (1956) ‘Sur la gestion des monopoles publics astreints à l’équilibre budgétaire’, Econometrica, vol. 24, pp. 22–40; English version, ‘On the Management of Public Monopolies Subject to Budgetary Constraints’, Journal of Economic Theory, vol. 3, 1971, pp. 219–40.Google Scholar
  9. Borchardt, K. (1971) ‘Die Bedeutung der Infrastruktur für die sozialökonomische Entwicklung’, in H. Arndt and D. Swatek (eds), Grundfragen der Infrastruktur planung für wachsende Wirtschaften, (Berlin: Duncker and Humbolt) pp. 11–30.Google Scholar
  10. Bös, D. (1981) Economic Theory of Public Enterprise, (Heidelberg: Springer).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brennan, G. and J. M. Buchanan (1980) The Power to Tax. Analytical Foundations of a Fiscal Constitution, (Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  12. Brunckhorst, H. D. (1978) Kommunalisierung im 19. Jahrhundert, dargestellt am Beispiel der Gaswirtschaft in Deutschland (München: Tuduv-Verlagsgesellschaft).Google Scholar
  13. Buchanan, J. M. (1975a) ‘Consumerism and Public Utility Regulation’, in Ch. F. Phillips, Jr. (ed.), Telecommunications, Regulation, and Public Choice, (Lexington: Washington and Lee University) pp. 1–22.Google Scholar
  14. Buchanan, J. M. (1975b) ‘A Contractarian Paradigm for Applying Economic Theory’, American Economic Review, vol. 65, no. 2, Papers and Proceedings, 1975, pp. 225–30.Google Scholar
  15. Buchanan, J. M. (1975c) Limits to Liberty, (University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  16. Buchanan, J. M. (1968) ‘A Public Choice Approach to Public Utility Pricing’, Public Choice, vol. 5, fall, pp. 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Buchanan, J. M. (1959) ‘Positive Economics, Welfare Economics, and Political Economy’, Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 2, October, pp. 124–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Buchanan, J. M. and W. J. Samuels (1975) ‘On Some Fundamental Issues in Political Economy: An Exchange of Correspondence’, Journal of Economic Issues, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 15–38.Google Scholar
  19. Coase, R. H. (1937) ‘The Nature of the Firm’, Economica, vol. 4, November, pp. 386–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Crew, M. A. and P. R. Kleindorfer (1979) Public Utility Economics (London: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Feldstein, M. S. (1972) ‘Distributional Equity and the Optimal Structure of Public Prices’, American Economic Review, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 32–6.Google Scholar
  22. Fiorina, M. P. and R. G. Noll (1979) ‘Majority Rule Models and Legislative Elections’, Journal of Politics, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 1081–1104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fischer, W. (1963) ‘Government Activity and Industrialization in Germany (1815–1870)’, in W. W. Rostow (ed.), The Economics of Take off into Sustained Growth (London: Macmillan) pp. 83–94.Google Scholar
  24. Fohlen, C. (1980) ‘Frankreich 1920–1970’, in C. M. Cipolla and K. Borchardt (eds), Europäische Wirtschaftsgeschichte (The Fontana Economic History ofEurope), Die Europäischen Volswirtschaften im zwanzigsten Jahrlhundert, (Stuttgart: Gustav Fischer) pp. 101 37.Google Scholar
  25. Frey, B. S. ‘A Macro-Theory of Bureaucracy’ in H. Hanusch (ed), Anatomy of Government Deficiencies, 1982.Google Scholar
  26. Frey, B. S. (1978) ‘Eine Theorie demokratischer Wirtschaftspolitik’, Kyklos, vol. 31, fasc. 2, pp. 208–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Frey, B. S. (1981) Theorie demokratischer Wirtschaftspolitik, (München: Vahlen).Google Scholar
  28. Frey, B. S. and W. W. Pommerehne (1981) ‘How Powerful are Bureaucrats?’ University of Zurich, mimeo.Google Scholar
  29. Gäfgen, G. (1976) ‘Politische Ökonomie und Lehre von der Wirtschaftspolitik: Zur Realisierbarkeit wirtschaftspolitischer Vorschläge’, in H. Körner, P. Meyer-Dohm and E. Tuchtfeld (eds), Wirtschaftspolitik und Wissenschaft, Festschrift zum 65. Geburstag von Karl Schiller, (Bern, Stuttgart: Haupt) pp. 67–83.Google Scholar
  30. Gröner, H. (1975) Die Ordnung der deutschen Elektrizitätswirtschaftt (Baden-Baden: Nomos).Google Scholar
  31. Haller, H. (1972) Finanzpolitik, Grundlagen und Haupt probleme (Tübingen: Mohr).Google Scholar
  32. Heckscher, E. F. (1932) Der Merkantilismus, vols. I, 2, (Jena: Fischer).Google Scholar
  33. Hirschman, A. O. (1957) The Strategy of Economic Development, (New Haven, Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  34. Hirschman, A. O. (1970) Exit, Voice and Loyalty (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  35. Homann, K. (1981) ‘Zum Problem rationaler Politik in demokratischen Gesellschaften’, in E. Boettcher, Ph. Herder-Dorneich and K. E. Schenk (eds), Neue Politische Ökonomie als Veryleich von Ordnungen (Tübingen: Mohr).Google Scholar
  36. Hubka, B. and G. Oberman (1977) ‘Zur Wahltaktik wirtschaftspolitischer Maβnahmen. Ein empirischer Test der Stimmenmaximierungshypothese’, Empirica, no. 1, 1977, pp. 57–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jochimsen, R. (1966) Theorie der Infrastruktur. Grundlagen der markt wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, (Tübingen: Mohr).Google Scholar
  38. Kahn, A. E. (1970, 1971) The Economics of Regulation: Principles and Institutions, Vols 1, 2 (New York: Wiley).Google Scholar
  39. Kellenbenz, H. (1977) Deutsche Wirtschaftsgeschichte (München: Beck).Google Scholar
  40. Kolko, G. (1965) Railroads and Regulation, 1877 1916, (New York: Norton).Google Scholar
  41. Lindbeck, A. (1971) The Political Economy of the New Left, (New York: Harper and Row) 2nd edn, 1977.Google Scholar
  42. Niskanen, W. A. (1971) Bureaucracy and Representative Government, (Chicago and New York: Aldine).Google Scholar
  43. Nurske, R. (1953) Problems of Capital Formation in Under-developed Countries (Oxford).Google Scholar
  44. Olson, M. (1965) The Logic of Collective Action, (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press).Google Scholar
  45. Owen, B. M. and R. Braeutigam (1978) The Regulation Game. Strategic Use of the Administrative Process (Cambridge, Mass: Ballinger).Google Scholar
  46. Park, R. E. (1973) (ed), The Role of Analysis in Regulatory Decision-making. The Case of Cable Television, (Lexington: Heath).Google Scholar
  47. Peltzman, S. (1976) ‘Toward a More General Theory of Regulation’, Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 19, August, pp. 211–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Posner, R. A. (1971) ‘Taxation by Regulation’, Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 22–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rees, R. (1976) Public Enterprise Economics (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson).Google Scholar
  50. Sherman, R. (1980) ‘Pricing Policies of the U.S. Postal Service’, in B. M. Mitchell and P. R. Kleindorfer (eds), Regulated Industries and Public Enterprises, (Lexington: Lexington Books).Google Scholar
  51. Schmidtchen, D. (1973) Politische Ökonomie staatlicher Preisinteruentionen. Dargestellt am Beispiel derpolitischen Preiseim Nachrichtenverkehr (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot).Google Scholar
  52. Schneider, F. and W. W. Pommerehne (1980) ‘Illusions in Fiscal Policy, A Case Study’ The Swedish Journal of Political Science, vol. 5, pp. 349–365.Google Scholar
  53. Spann, R. M. (1974) ‘Collective Consumption of Private Goods’, Public Choice, vol. 20, Winter 1974, pp. 63–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Steiner, P. O. (1957) ‘Peak Loads and Efficient Pricing’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 71, no. 4, pp. 585–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stigler, G. (1971) ‘The Theory of Economic Regulation’, Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tullock, G. (1959) ‘Problems of Majority Voting’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 65, no. 6, pp. 571–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tullock, G. (1971) ‘The Paradox of Revolution’, Public Choice, vol. 11, Fall, pp. 89–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Turvey, R. (1971) Economic Analysis and Public Enterprises, (London: Allen and Unwin).Google Scholar
  59. Wagner, R. E. (1966) ‘Pressure Groups and Political Entrepreneurs: A Review Article’, in Papers on Market Decision Making (Public Choice), vol. 1, pp. 161–70.Google Scholar
  60. Williamson, O. E. (1975) Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications (New York and London: Free Press and Collier Macmillan).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jörg Finsinger 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles B. Blankart

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations