Public Choice

, Volume 163, Issue 3–4, pp 401–403 | Cite as

Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle: Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics

Cato Institute, Washington, DC, 2014, xiv + 216 pages, USD 24.95 (cloth)
  • Diana W. Thomas
Book Review

Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle’s book, Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, provides a great introduction to some of the fundamental principles of public choice theory (chapters 1–3), as well as interesting applications of that theory to current regulatory topics (chapters 4–7). In addition, the book provides inspiration and food for thought for researchers in public choice and regulatory studies. As a result, the book will serve as excellent supplemental reading for introductory public choice courses, as well as required reading for scholars in the discipline.

In chapter one, the authors review and expand on the original bootlegger and Baptist theory. They suggest that there are four potential, empirically observable, bootlegger and Baptist dynamics. First, in the absence of actual Baptist support, bootleggers can covertly advance their own objectives by using Baptist rhetoric. Second, bootleggers and Baptists sometimes...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Finance, Heider College of BusinessCreighton UniversityOmahaUSA

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