James M. Buchanan and Me: Reminiscing About a 50-Year Association

31 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2014

See all articles by Richard E. Wagner

Richard E. Wagner

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

Date Written: June 16, 2014


This essay commemorates James M. Buchanan’s life and work by reflecting on my 50 years of association with him, starting in 1963 when I entered graduate school at the University of Virginia and ending with his death in 2013. This essay does not try to add to the substantial secondary literature that has arisen about Buchanan and his scholarly contributions. Objective contributions in that vein will doubtlessly continue; indeed, I have written some myself. Instead, this essay portrays Jim Buchanan through offering a personal reflection on some of my experiences with him over our half-century’s association. Jim Buchanan was a pivotal figure in my life, as in many ways I have tried to carry forward what I acquired from him through observation and interaction. I even thought I was carrying forward that acquisition when divergences arose between us, as they did increasingly as the years passed.

Keywords: James M. Buchanan; Italianate public finance; teaching as joint inquiry; constitutional political economy; non-logical action; Vilfredo Pareto; Carl Schmitt

JEL Classification: A11, A23, B31, D70, H63

Suggested Citation

Wagner, Richard E., James M. Buchanan and Me: Reminiscing About a 50-Year Association (June 16, 2014). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 14-13, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2451268 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2451268

Richard E. Wagner (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~rwagner/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/richard-wagner

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