This paper is an exercise in the archeology of knowledge that seeks to understand the intellectual precursors to the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. This perspective reveals that research agenda of the Ostroms draws significantly from the ideas and themes developed in the first half of the 20th century by Knight, Mises, and Hayek.
What role is there for government in promoting the economic well-being of citizens within its national boundaries? If one assumes that political authority derives its legitimacy in part from the satisfaction it affords its subjects, then it follows that a "good" government will adopt policies that will enhance the economic well-being of its citizens.
This paper analyzes the array of relationships that take place in the reconstruction process – political, economic and social – by considering under what circumstances they are situations of conflict or coordination. Historical attempts at reconstruction provide further understanding of how to achieve success.
Self-enforcing arrangements are crucial to the study of African political economy. The weakness of formal governance in much of Africa makes understanding informal institutions of cooperation particularly important. I consider the application of self-enforcing arrangements, like those described by the Ostroms, to the problems of violence and social heterogeneity that plague Africa.
Legal scholars and economists alike have been quite critical of F.A. Hayek’s legal theory. According to Richard Posner, Hayek’s legal theory is “formalist” and serves as a useless guide for legal and judges. We argue that these criticisms are misplaced, and we contend that Hayek’s legal theory cannot be separated from his economic theory. To establish this point, we trace the evolution of Hayek’s thought from his earlier writings in technical economics to his later writings on legal theory.
Mercatus PhD Fellow Vipin Veetil, along with Akshaya Vijayalakshmi and Srikanth Viswanathan, address Amartya Sen's criticism of cash-transfer programs such as education vouchers in the Wall Street Journal.
In 1964 James Buchanan famously asked “What Should Economists Do?” He argued that economists should focus their intellectual attention on exchange and the institutions within which exchange takes place. This paper reflects on Buchanan’s message and looks at the development of that argument, and its implications in the wake of post-socialist political economy on the one hand, and the post-financial crisis of 2008 on the other.