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An Overview of the Contractarian Public Finance of James Buchanan

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  • Roger D. Congleton

Abstract

Although it is only in the last ten or fifteen years that James Buchanan has emphasized a contractarian approach to public policy analysis, most of his nearly 40 years of work in the area of public finance exhibits contractarian themes. This paper outlines Professor Buchanan's contractarian approach to policy analysis, and applies it to various topics in public finance in order to demonstrate the underlying unity of his work. Many of Buchanan's most original contributions to public finance can be best understood as a consequence of his contractarian perspective.

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  • Roger D. Congleton, 1988. "An Overview of the Contractarian Public Finance of James Buchanan," Public Finance Review, , vol. 16(2), pages 131-157, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:16:y:1988:i:2:p:131-157
    DOI: 10.1177/109114218801600201
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Buchanan, James M & Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Controls Versus Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 139-147, March.
    2. Buchanan, James M, 1984. "The Ethical Limits of Taxation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 102-114.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    4. Goetz, Charles J & Buchanan, James M, 1971. "External Diseconomies in Competitive Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 883-890, December.
    5. Buchanan, James M., 1976. "Taxation in fiscal exchange," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 17-29.
    6. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, November.
    7. Buchanan, James M & Bush, Winston C, 1974. "Political Constraints on Contractual Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 153-157, May.
    8. Feldstein, Martin, 1985. "Debt and taxes in the theory of public finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 233-245, November.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    10. Buchanan, James M. & Goetz, Charles J., 1972. "Efficiency limits of fiscal mobility: An assessment of the tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 25-43, April.
    11. Buchanan, James M & Lee, Dwight R, 1982. "Tax Rates and Tax Revenues in Political Equilibrium: Some Simple Analytics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 344-354, July.
    12. James M. Buchanan, 1963. "The Economics of Earmarked Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71(5), pages 457-457.
    13. George R. Zodrow, 2019. "Optimal Tax Reform in the Presence of Adjustment Costs," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: George R Zodrow (ed.), TAXATION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE Selected Essays of George R. Zodrow, chapter 2, pages 33-58, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    14. James M. Buchanan, 1954. "Individual Choice in Voting and the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(4), pages 334-334.
    15. Buchanan, James M, 1985. "The Moral Dimension of Debt Financing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(1), pages 1-6, January.
    16. Buchanan, James M, 1975. "A Contractarian Paradigm for Applying Economic Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 225-230, May.
    17. Hochman, Harold M & Rodgers, James D, 1969. "Pareto Optimal Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 542-557, Part I Se.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernd Hansjürgens, 2000. "The Influence of Knut Wicksell on Richard Musgrave and James Buchanan," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 95-116, April.
    2. Roger Congleton, 2012. "The constitutional political economy of Gordon Tullock," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 131-146, July.
    3. Roger Congleton, 2014. "The contractarian constitutional political economy of James Buchanan," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 39-67, March.
    4. Roger Congleton, 2004. "The Political Economy of Gordon Tullock," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 213-238, October.

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