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A Pragmatist Approach to the Proper Scope of Government

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  • Jack Knight

Abstract

What is the proper scope of government? In this paper, I argue that efforts to define a clear and distinct boundary for the scope of government are misplaced. This argument takes two forms. First, and primarily, I set out a positive argument for a pragmatic approach. Given the complexity of modern life, a pragmatic approach to government will provide the most reasonable way of institutionalizing the differences between public and private activity. Second, I show that theoretical efforts to establish a clearly defined boundary cannot be reasonably sustained. They run into problems internal to their own justifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Jack Knight, 2001. "A Pragmatist Approach to the Proper Scope of Government," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(1), pages 1-28, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200103)157:1_28:apattp_2.0.tx_2-k
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    Cited by:

    1. Binder, Martin, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics and Moral Relativism - Some Thoughts," MPRA Paper 1484, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gawel, Erik, 2011. "Political drivers of and barriers to Public-Private Partnerships: The role of political involvement," Working Papers 98, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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