The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Public Choice

  • Gordon Tullock
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1400

Abstract

By assuming that voters, politicians and bureaucrats are mainly self-interested, public choice uses economic tools to deal with the traditional problems of political science. Its findings revolve around the effects of voter ignorance, agenda control and the incentives facing bureaucrats in sacrificing the public interest to special interests. The design of improved governmental methods based on the positive information about how governments actually function has been an important part of public choice. Constitutional reforms advocated variously by public choice thinkers include direct voting, proportional representation, bicameral legislatures, reinforced majorities, competition between government departments, and contracting out government activities.

Keywords

Agenda control Arrow, K. Bicameral legislatures Black, D. Buchanan, J. Bureaucracy Constitutions, economic approach to Democracy Direct voting Downs, A. Niskanen, W. Proportional representation Public choice Public interest Reinforced majorities Single-peaked preferences Social choice Special interests Tullock, G. Voting 

JEL Classifications

H0 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Arrow, K.J. 1951. Social choice and individual values. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, J.T., and W.P. Orzechowski. 1983. The voting behavior of bureaucrats: Some empirical evidence. Public Choice 41(2): 271–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Black, D. 1958. The theory of committees and elections. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Buchanan, J., and G. Tullock. 1962. The calculus of consent: Logical foundations of constitutional democracy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Downs, A. 1957. An economic analysis of democracy. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  6. Downs, A. 1967. Inside bureaucracy. Boston: Little, Brown.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Frey, B.S., and W.W. Pommernhe. 1982. How powerful are public bureaucrats as voters? Public Choice 38(3): 253–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Migue, J.L., and G. Balageur. 1974. Towards a general theory of managerial discretion. Public Choice 17: 27–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Niskanen, W. 1971. Bureaucracy and representative government. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.Google Scholar
  10. Tullock, G. 1965. The politics of bureaucracy. Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press.Google Scholar
  11. Tullock, G. 1967a. Toward a mathematics of politics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  12. Tullock, G. 1967b. The general irrelevance of the general impossibility theorem. Quarterly Journal of Economics 81: 256–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Tullock, G. 1981. Why so much stability. Public Choice 37(2): 189–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Tullock
    • 1
  1. 1.