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Reflections on Public Choice


  • Bernard Grofman


My 2002 presidential address to the Public Choice Society consisted of three parts. The first had to do with the business of the Society's 2002 meeting and plans for the Nashville meeting, and has been omitted. This essay begins with the second section of that talk, in which I identify what I call the classic books of Public Choice, and then discuss what I view as common misconceptions about Public Choice. The next section of this essay surveys five of the most important empirical puzzles in Public Choice theory (three of them taken from the work of Anthony Downs), and my own attempts over the years to come to grips with these puzzles. I should note that, despite my courtesy appointment in UCI's Economics Department, in this essay I write primarily from the perspective of a political scientist -- albeit, one with lots of friends who happen to be economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard Grofman, 2004. "Reflections on Public Choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(1_2), pages 31-51, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:118:y:2004:i:1_2:p:31-51

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    Cited by:

    1. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Political Economy," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(IV), pages 377-384, December.
    2. Jac Heckelman, 2015. "Guest editor’s introduction to the symposium on the 50th anniversary of Olson’s Logic of Collective Action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 191-193, September.
    3. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2018. "Public choice and political science: a view from Europe," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 175(3), pages 245-257, June.

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