What should economists do?
This volume is a collection of sixteen essays on three general topics: the methodology of economics, the applicability of economic reasoning to political science and other social sciences, and the relevance of economics as moral philosophy. Several essays are published here for the first time, including "Professor Alchian on Economic Method," "Natural and Artifactual Man," and "Public Choice and Ideology." This book provides relatively easy access to a wide range of work by a moral and legal philosopher, a welfare economist who has consistently defended the primacy of the contractarian ethic, a public finance theorist, and a founder of the burgeoning subdiscipline of public choice. Buchanan's work has spawned a methodological revolution in the way economists and other scholars think about government and government activity. As a measure of recognition for his significant contribution, Dr. Buchanan was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics.
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Scope and Method
What Should Economists Do?
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abstract Adam Smith Alchian all-collective allocation allow alternatives approach artifactual assumption Ayres basic becomes behave bureaucracy capacities central choose collectivist constraints costs course critics decision-making decisions defined discipline discussion econ economic behavior economic theory economists effect embodies emerge empirical equality exist extent external Frank Knight G. L. S. Shackle game theory Gordon Tullock governmental havior homo economicus human behavior hypotheses implies imposed individual institutions interaction limits logic of choice market failure maximization ment methodological modern moral nomic normative objectives observed omists payoff persons positive analysis postulate potential predictive preferences principle problem public choice public finance public-choice theory pure question recognize relationship remain role rules scholars scientific seems sense shift simple social engineering social order social welfare function society spontaneous order structure subjectivist suggested tion tive Tullock utility functions welfare economics wholly