Remembering Bill Niskanen: Pursuing Economics as a Public Science In The Service of Liberty

18 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2012

See all articles by Richard E. Wagner

Richard E. Wagner

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 7, 2012

Abstract

This short essay is a memorial piece about William A. Niskanen (13 March 1933- 26 October 2011). The essay starts with his time at the University of Chicago in the mid-1950s, and gives most attention to his contributions to public choice. Especial attention is paid to his Bureaucracy and Representative Government, which opened vast territory for subsequent analytical exploration. A good deal of attention is also paid to his Autocratic, Democratic, and Optimal Government because this work both conveys his interest in comparative constitutional analysis and is useful for illustrating the strengths and weaknesses of his approach to this material.

Keywords: William Niskanen, bureaucracy, constitutional economics, welfare economics, public choice, economics as public science

JEL Classification: B32, D23, D61, D73

Suggested Citation

Wagner, Richard E., Remembering Bill Niskanen: Pursuing Economics as a Public Science In The Service of Liberty (February 7, 2012). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2000469 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2000469

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
334 Enterprise Hall
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
(703) 993-1132 (Phone)

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