James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock: A Half-Century On

Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 28)


James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock both have contributed extensively, independently, and importantly to the scholarly literatures of, inter alia, political philosophy and economics, as well as to various subfields thereof, including public finance, law and economics, and bioeconomics. But the two are forever joined and probably best known as the coauthors of The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy, published in 1962, which launched the modern disciplines of public choice and that of its sister, constitutional political economy. This chapter singles out and summarizes, in an idiosyncratic way, three key areas of Buchanan and Tullock’s work that have influenced my own thinking and scholarly writings, namely, the costs associated with collective decision-making, the rent-seeking insight, and analyses of public budget deficits and the public debt.


Public Choice Public Debt External Cost Simple Majority Rule Oversight Committee 
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.



I benefited from the comments and suggestions of Michael Reksulak, Charles Rowley, Diana Thomas, and Robert Tollison on earlier drafts of this chapter. I hereby absolve them of any and all remaining errors, for which I accept full responsibility.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jon M. Huntsman School of BusinessUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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