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Buchanan on externalities: An exercise in applied subjectivism

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  • Marciano, Alain

Abstract

Buchanan's work on the methodology of economics includes many references to externalities. Buchanan has emphasized that a subjective conception of economics, and a focus put on exchange rather than on choice, has implications on an analysis of externalities. In this paper, we analyze the reverse claim: Buchanan's views on externalities are a perfect illustration of his plea for subjectivism in economics, and the need to focus on economics-as-a-science-of exchange. We show that Buchanan's treatment of externalities was a “laboratory” for his claims and arguments about subjectivism.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 80 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 280-289

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:80:y:2011:i:2:p:280-289

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Related research

Keywords: Subjectivism; Objectivism; Choice; Exchange; Buchanan; Externalities;

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  1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  2. Charles W. Baird, 1989. "James Buchanan and the Austrians: The Common Ground," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 9(1), pages 201-230, Spring/Su.
  3. Alain Marciano, 2010. "Why markets do not fail. Buchanan on voluntary cooperation and externalities," Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series 2010-05, Center for the History of Political Economy.
  4. Buchanan, James M, 1988. "Contractarian Political Economy and Constitutional Interpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 135-39, May.
  5. Charles M. Tiebout, 1961. "An Economic Theory of Fiscal Decentralization," NBER Chapters, in: Public Finances: Needs, Sources, and Utilization, pages 79-96 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Tibor Scitovsky, 1954. "Two Concepts of External Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 143.
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Cited by:
  1. Maxime Demarais-Tremblay, 2014. "On the Definition of Public Goods. Assessing Richard A. Musgrave's contribution," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00951577, HAL.
  2. Maxime Desmarais-Tremblay, 2014. "On the Definition of Public Goods. Assessing Richard A. Musgrave's contribution," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14004, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.

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