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Public Choice at the Little Bighorn


  • James E. McClure

    () (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

  • T. Norman Van Cott

    () (Department of Economics, Ball State University)


History professors have long portrayed Custer’s stand at the Little Bighorn River in terms of the managerial quirks and personality flaws of the central characters. The discussion in Evan Connell’s (1984) book, Son of the Morning Star, illuminates the Last Stand in terms of economic incentives. In this paper we argue that Custer’s legendary Last Stand offers economics instructors with an extraordinary opportunity to pique students’ interest in the public choice paradigm.

Suggested Citation

  • James E. McClure & T. Norman Van Cott, 1993. "Public Choice at the Little Bighorn," Working Papers 199301, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jan 1994.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsu:wpaper:199301

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    File Function: First version, 1993
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-116, March.
    2. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
    3. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-754, July/Aug..
    4. Barron, John M & Umbeck, John R, 1984. "The Effects of Different Contractual Arrangements: The Case of Retail Gasoline Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 313-328, October.
    5. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
    6. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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