Maximizing Behavior & Market Forces: The Microfoundations of Spontaneous Order Theorizing in Gordon Tullock's Contributions to Smithian Political Economy

Public Choice, Vol. 135, No. 1-2, pp. 3-10, 2008

8 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2010

See all articles by Peter J. Boettke

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The author explores the microfoundations of Gordon Tullock's contributions to political economy and argue that his approach is consistent with the "invisible hand" theorizing of Adam Smith. While Smith (and Hayek) are celebrated for their emphasis on the "bright-side" of spontaneous social cooperation, Tullock emphasized the "dark-side" of social processes when the incentives are perverse and information is distorted. By explicating the microfoundations of Tullock's rendering of Smithian political economy this paper will set the stage for reassessment of Tullock as a spontaneous order theorist.

JEL Classification: B31, D70

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J., Maximizing Behavior & Market Forces: The Microfoundations of Spontaneous Order Theorizing in Gordon Tullock's Contributions to Smithian Political Economy (2008). Public Choice, Vol. 135, No. 1-2, pp. 3-10, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1538601

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

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