IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A tribute to Earl A. Thompson and, in his own words, a summary of his general economic and social theory


  • Don Allison


  • Thomas Borcherding


Brilliant but little known, in part because his style was dense and crucial papers unpublished, Earl Thompson reformulated standard theory to achieve policy relevance, focusing on significant rent-seeking inefficiencies stemming from private information and transaction costs. Drawing on history, he showed a vast array of institutions to be efficient which economists had previously found to be inefficient, modeled governments and their nature, defined government’s functions, and showed why dominant states rise and fall. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Don Allison & Thomas Borcherding, 2013. "A tribute to Earl A. Thompson and, in his own words, a summary of his general economic and social theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 7-29, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:156:y:2013:i:1:p:7-29
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0088-4

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Earl A. Thompson & Roger L. Faith, 1980. "Social Interaction Under Truly Perfect Information," UCLA Economics Working Papers 175, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Thompson, Earl A & Faith, Roger L, 1981. "A Pure Theory of Strategic Behavior and Social Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 366-380, June.
    3. Earl A. Thompson, 2007. "From social insecurity to social security: the genius of democratic politics," Global Business and Economics Review, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(1), pages 1-7.
    4. Thompson, Earl A., 1980. "Characteristics of worlds with perfect strategic communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 111-119, August.
    5. Earl A. Thompson, 1977. "A Reformulation of Macroeconomic Theory," UCLA Economics Working Papers 091, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Thompson, Earl A, 1979. "An Economic Basis for the "National Defense Argument" for Aiding Certain Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-36, February.
    7. Earl A. Thompson, 1973. "The Optimal Role of the Government for a Competitive Economy Containing Money," UCLA Economics Working Papers 039, UCLA Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Matt Lindsay & Robert Deacon & Darren Filson, 2014. "Tom Borcherding," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(1), pages 1-6, July.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:156:y:2013:i:1:p:7-29. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.