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Does Political Reform Increase Wealth?: Or, Why the Difference between the Chicago and Virginia Schools Is Really an Elasticity Question

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  • Lott, John R, Jr

Abstract

This paper shows that, contrary to G. S. Becker's work, there is no innate tendency for political competition to reduce the total cost of government wealth transfers. Simple examples demonstrate how the effects of government policies on total wealth boil down to the elasticities of the marginal support and opposition curves. Disagreements between the Chicago and Virginia schools of political economy can be understood as a disagreement about these elasticities. The broader implications for this argument in terms of the efficiency of the common law are also discussed. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Does Political Reform Increase Wealth?: Or, Why the Difference between the Chicago and Virginia Schools Is Really an Elasticity Question," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(3-4), pages 219-227, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:91:y:1997:i:3-4:p:219-27
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    Cited by:

    1. Holcombe, Randall G., 1998. "Tax Policy From a Public Choice Perspective," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(2), pages 359-371, June.
    2. MacKenzie, D.W., 2008. "The use of knowledge about society," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 678-688, September.
    3. Robert A.J. Dur & Ben D. Peletier & Otto H. Swank, 1997. "The Effect of Fiscal Rules on Public Investment if Budget Deficits are Politically Motivated," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-125/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Lott, John R, Jr, 2000. "A Simple Explanation for Why Campaign Expenditures Are Increasing: The Government Is Getting Bigger," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 359-393, October.

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