Economists model national defense as a pure public good optimally provided by a benevolent and omnipotent “defense brain” to maximize social welfare. Christopher Coyne discuss an alternative framework—the “individualistic view”—for analyzing defense provision and suggest it is superior for understanding reality.
Advocates of cosmopolitan ideals, to the extent that they engage with questions of institutional design, typically imagine replicating or refining existing, nation-state models of governance but on an international scale. This essay argues that cosmopolitan ethics need not go hand in hand with international government, and may be better served by a different approach.
I develop a positive theory of sovereignty that is rooted in political exchange. The key concept I use to characterize sovereignty is self-enforcing exchange of political rights. I conclude that a sovereign is an individual or body party to political exchange that does not rest on third-party enforcement. Importantly, sovereignty is an emergent phenomenon, defined in the process of bargains between holders of political power.
In this paper we revisit the case for methodological individualism for the positive analysis of political economy. We argue that the basis of methodological individualism implies neither a necessary commitment to atomistic reductionism in explaining social phenomena nor philosophical individualism resulting in a laissez-faire policy.
This chapter, which surveys the state of knowledge about the economic effects of international labor mobility, is therefore especially concerned with considering labor mobility’s economic effects for potentially vulnerable subpopulations.
Recent literature on Adam Smith and other eighteenth-century Scottish thinkers shows an engaged conversation between the Scots and today's scholars in the sciences that deal with humans—the social sciences and the humanities, as well as neuroscience and evolutionary psychology.
Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues in The Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in Bloomington conducted fieldwork in metropolitan police departments across the United States. Their findings in support of community policing dealt a blow to the popular belief that consolidation and centralization of services was the only way to effectively provide citizens with public goods.
Rebounding after disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods can be daunting. Communities must have residents who can not only gain access to the resources that they need to rebuild but who can also overcome the collective action problem that characterizes post-disaster relief efforts.
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.
Rebounding after disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods can be daunting. Communities must have residents who can not only gain access to the resources that they need to rebuild but can overcome the collective action problem that characterizes post-disaster relief efforts.