Public Choice - Econ 410


Public Choice Syllabus

Public Choice Powerpoints


Introduction to Public Choice - an introduction to rational ignorance, rational irrationality, political myopia and bureaucracy.

The Logic of Collective Action - Introduction to collective goods, and Olson's logic of collective action

The Rise and Decline of Nations, Ch.3 - implications of the logic of collective action for interest groups and democracy.

The Rise and Decline of Nations, Ch. 4 - The Developed Democracies Since World War II.

The Economic Theory of Regulation - Peltzman, Iron triangle

The Political Business Cycle - do politicians manipulate the economy to win reelection?

Political War Cycles
- do politicians ever start wars to win reelection?

Famine, Corruption, the Media and Democracy - why is there mass starvation?  Why does mass starvation not occur in democracies?  What is the role of the media.  What does the importance of the media tell us about corruption, government control of the media and government education?

Corruption - measuring corruption in the United State and abroad, correlates of corruption, types of corruption (monopoly versus competitive, parallel versus serial) and implications of corruption for the structure of society.

The Politics of Electoral Systems - electoral systems used as tools to dilute minority votes.

Gerrymandering - when politicians choose voters.

Paradoxes of Voting

Arrow's Impossibility Theorem

The Difference a Different Voting System Makes
 

The Meltzer-Richard Model - application of the median voter theorem to the growth of government.

Strategic Voting


Constitutional Economics - Hobbes, first steps to designing a constitution.  What is the role of government?  Buck v. Bell and the theory of externalities.

The Calculus of Consent ch6 - The beginnings of constitutional economics.

Federalism - the optimum size and shape of governments.  The matching rule, Tiebout competition, market preserving federalism, spillovers, exit and voice,  federalism and crime.

Public Finance vs. Public Choice - a tax constituion for leviathan.

The Big Questions about Development - from Guns, Germs and Steel to the role of institutions and the question of where institutions come from.