Public Choice Theory

question

Public Choice Theory
answer

defined as the economic analysis of nonmarket decision making–application of economic analysis to political outcomes
question

Mancur Olson
answer

-founder of Public Choice -said PC filled the void w/in -discussed problems with free-riding -Legislators are vote-maximizers (concerned with re election)
question

James Buchannan
answer

-Recipient of 1986 nobel prize in economics -contributions to theory of public choice -Price theory is applied to real world issues. (Chicago) -Founded Political economy center at UVA with Warren Nutter -Focused on determining gov’t spending decisions
question

The methodology of Public choice Three elements
answer

1) selection of the stage choice under scrutiny, the options being the constitutional stage of choice and the institutional stage of choice 2) Whether one is engaged in positive analysis or normative prescription 3) Whether one adopts the homoeconomics approach or a cattalatic approach
question

Constitutional stage of choice
answer

establishment of the rules of the game. social contract or constitution that sets out the rules
question

Conventional PC
answer

centers on institutional stage of choice and involves the economic analysis of political and gov’t processes, as well as voting procedures and buraucracies
question

Positive branch
answer

assesses the impact on political outcomes and the associated implications for economic efficiency with in voting behavior etc.
question

Normative economics
answer

with input form positive branch, serves as analysis of rules governing political operations and behavior, including design of efficient constitutions and other proposals for legislative and regulatory reform
question

Homoeconomicus
answer

simply the standard maximizing paradigm of microecon, where individuals in both political and economic arenas are assumed to behave as if they are maximizing utility. Act same in political field as you would the market
question

Catallaxy
answer

developed by Hayek concepts of spontaneous coordination and spontaneous order take center stage over the principle of maximization and the emphasis shifts from simple to complex changes.
question

Foundational Ideas of PC
answer

1)Rationally Ignorant Voter 2)Impossibility theorem 3)Median voter theorem 4)Log Rolling 5)Capture Theory
question

Rationally Ignorant voter
answer

Anthony Downs pointed out that the voter is largely ignorant of political issues and that this ignorance is rational. Individual’s vote rarely decides an election. MB<C of voting [MB=0 and MC is +]
question

Impossibility Theorem
answer

developed by Kenneth Arrow. shows that people cannot use voting to make collective goals to please everyone
question

Median Voter Theorm
answer

created by Duncan Black. states that election outcomes will reflect the outcomes preferred by the median voter
question

Log Rolling
answer

A legislator supports a proposal favored by another in return for support of his or hers.
question

James C. Miller
answer

passed Gram-Rudman law, which set a limit on annual spending and back it with automatic cuts if the ceiling was not met. Helped reduce log rolling
question

William Niskanen
answer

assumed that these agencies (bureaucracy) would use the information and expertise they gained in administering specific legislative programs to extract the largest budget possible from relativcely uniformed inexpert legislators.
question

Capture Theory
answer

Interest groups and other political figures will use the regulatory and coercive powers of government to shape laws and regulations in a way that is beneficial to them. created by George Stigler
question

Knut Wicksell
answer

-Influenced by Carl Menger -Most important figure for PC w/in constitutional econ -Majority rule imposed net costs and damages on large segments of tax payer group. Proposed voting rule to be modified in direction of unanimity. Simple to super majority rule
question

Erik Lindahl
answer

-advisor for swedish government and central bank -Lindahl Tax: individuals pay for the provision of a public good according to their marginal benefits -proved unanimous consent can be obtained
question

Duncan Black
answer

Concerned with majority-voting rules in small committee settings
question

Kenneth Arrow
answer

Impossibility Theorem. When voters have 3 or more options, no rank order voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community wide ranking while also meeting a pre-specified set of criteria
question

Unanimous Consent Rule
answer

-proposed by Wicksell -requires that each decision authorizing gov’t expenditure be accompanied by a related tax bill to finance that expenditure and further the joint expenditure tax package be passed with unanimous consent -lindahl proved UC can be obtained -very costly, incentive for individuals to hold out
question

Optimal Majority
answer

-simple majority is not efficient – efficiency is located at 3/5 majority rule
question

Cycling
answer

political outcomes depend on order of voting process
question

Max Weber
answer

contributions to political sociology provided early foundation for poli sci and public admin analysis of politics and the buraucracy
question

Rent Seeking
answer

-created by Gordon Tulluck – A process in which political leaders essentially rent out parts of the state to their patrons, who as a result control public goods that would otherwise be distributed in a nonpolitical manner
question

The methodology of Public choice
answer

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member