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Public Choice Theory had Negligible Effect on Australian Microeconomic Policy, 1970s to 2000s

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  • Jonathan Pincus

Abstract

Since The Calculus of Consent (1962), Public Choice has had little influence on the course of public policy in Australia and, in particular, virtually none on the seismic shift from a policy regime antagonistic to competition, to one that gives conditional approval. Competition, of the attenuated Arrow-Debreu type, led ineluctably to efficiency, if and only if ‘market failures’ and ‘government failures’ were corrected. The dismantling of tariff protection illustrates how Computable General Equilibrium modelling reflected the Arrow-Debreu program. Paradoxically, Public Choice antipathy towards interest groups helped create a vast space for public regulation by (presumptively) benevolent and disinterested public servants.

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  • Jonathan Pincus, 2014. "Public Choice Theory had Negligible Effect on Australian Microeconomic Policy, 1970s to 2000s," History of Economics Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 59(1), pages 82-93, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rherxx:v:59:y:2014:i:1:p:82-93
    DOI: 10.1080/18386318.2014.11681257
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