Frederic Bastiat: Public Choice Theorist
15 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 28, 2019
Frederic Bastiat is best known for his popularizing of economic ideas in pamphlets like That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen, The Law, and The State, as well as his books Economic Sophisms and Economic Harmonies. However, he was also an economic theorist, a fact that gets lost in the midst of his fiery pamphlets. Examining his correspondences and early political and economic writing, I show how he began developing public choice insights into rent seeking, voter rationality, and the behavior of legislators that would anticipate scholarship that would come a century later.
Keywords: Frederic Bastiat, Public Choice, James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Voter Rationality, Rent-Seeking
JEL Classification: B12, B31, N43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation