The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy

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Liberty Fund, 1962 - Business & Economics - 361 pages
12 Reviews

The Calculus of Consent, the second volume of Liberty Fund’s The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock, is a reprint edition of the ground-breaking economic classic written by two of the world’s preeminent economists--Gordon Tullock and Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan. This book is a unique blend of economics and political science that helped create significant new subfields in each discipline respectively, namely, the public choice school and constitutional political economy. Charles K. Rowley, Duncan Black Professor of Economics at George Mason University, points out in his introduction, "The Calculus of Consent is, by a wide margin, the most widely cited publication of each coauthor and, by general agreement, their most important scientific contribution.”

The Calculus of Consent is divided into four parts, each consisting of several chapters. The introduction by Professor Rowley provides a short overview of the book and identifies key insights that permeated the bounds of economics and political science and created an enduring nexus between the two sciences. Part I of The Calculus of Consent establishes the conceptual framework of the book’s subject; part II defines the realm of social choice; part III applies the logic developed in part II to describe a range of decision-making rules, most notably, the rule of simple majority; while part IV explores the economics and ethics of democracy.

Charles K. Rowley is Duncan Black Professor of Economics at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow of the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy at George Mason University. He is also General Director of the Locke Institute.

The entire series includes:

Volume 1: Virginia Political Economy
Volume 2: The Calculus of Consent
Volume 3: The Organization of Inquiry (November 2004)
Volume 4: The Economics of Politics (February 2005)
Volume 5: The Rent-Seeking Society (March 2005)
Volume 6: Bureaucracy (June 2005)
Volume 7: The Economics and Politics of Wealth Redistribution (July 2005)
Volume 8: The Social Dilemma: Of Autocracy, Revolution, Coup d'Etat, and War (December 2005)
Volume 9: Law and Economics (December 2005)
Volume 10: Economics without Frontiers (January 2006)

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Review: The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy

User Review  - Nico - Goodreads

A very difficult read. Once they get through the introduction, the theory presented becomes very dense and hard to take in all at once. Read in small doses so that you have time to understand what is being said. Read full review

Review: The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy

User Review  - Aaron Crofut - Goodreads

I didn't pick a lot out of this book, but that's largely because I've read so many others that use this book as a foundation that there wasn't much new for me to pick. The basic assumptions made about ... Read full review


The Individualistic Postulate
Politics and the Economic Nexus

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About the author (1962)

James M Buchanan is an eminent economist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1986.

Charles K. Rowley is at The Locke Institute.

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