In order to combat the conventional view that “bigger means better,” Ostrom pioneered a field work-based framework for measuring police services that utilized consumer surveys and thereby created a community-centered model of analysis for public services. In this paper, the authors contend that although Ostrom’s career demonstrated the importance of employing multiple methods, her most enduring contributions and legacy came from on-the-ground research.
Elinor Ostrom and her colleagues found that small police departments with a high degree of community involvement were able to effectively provide public safety in their communities. However, subsequent empirical literature suggests that the widespread implementation of community policing has been generally ineffective and in many ways unsustainable. This paper argues that these failures are the result of 1.) institutional incompatibilities within the nested, polycentric network of organizations that provides public safety and 2.) perverse incentives generated by federal policy and the increasing militarization of the police.
Henry Hazlitt was a public intellectual who had unusual strength in both economic reasoning and articulation and played a central role in communicating the ideas of classical or ‘orthodox’ economics to the general public. He occupied a unique position in the mid-20th century intellectual life in the US as a prominent figure in the world of journalism –both as a literary critic and economist – and his influence extended to the discipline of economics where his work commanded the attention of professional economists.
While most monetary economists recognize that the Federal Reserve has allowed its monetary policy to be swayed by political influences at times – especially early in its history – there are few economists who question the independence of the Federal Reserve today. Even fewer monetary economists exhibit enough concern with political or special interest group pressures on the Federal Reserve to incorporate the considerations of political economy into their models and policy proposals. The authors challenge this paradigm.
Implicit in most monetary economists’ models and policy prescriptions is the assumption that the Federal Reserve is largely independent of political and special interest group influence. The authors challenge this assumption. Using existing theoretical and empirical evidence, they detail four channels through which the independence of the Federal Reserve has been compromised in the past.
The compelling case offered by Austrians regarding the recent economic downturn has no doubt encouraged many to take a closer look at the broader Austrian perspective. Similarly, the jobless recovery has prompted some soul searching in labor economics.
Henry Hazlitt was a unique public intellectual, who strove to not only to enlighten the general public with his writings, speeches, and appearances on TV and radio, but sought to contribute to the specialized disciplines of economics and philosophy.
In this essay, Professor Boettke briefly summarizes the work of Karen Vaughn in her book, Austrian Economics in America, and describe its importance towards the broader resurgence of Austrian economics.
Behavioral economics has made its mark by bringing under intense scrutiny the limitations of individuals’ cognitive abilities. The conclusions of such inquiries call into question results from standard economic modeling dependent on assumptions of strong epistemic rationality. Most conspicuously, behavioral economists have introduced a host of new potential causes for market failures. F. A. Hayek likewise famously questioned the cognitive abilities of real world actors, but drew radically different conclusions.
First published in 1973, Competition and Entrepreneurship defined Israel M. Kirzner’s unique contribution to the economics profession. This volume, in print without interruption since the date of its first publication, provides a thorough critique of contemporary price theory, an essay on the theory of entrepreneurship, and an essay on the theory of competition, offering a new appraisal of quality competition, of selling effort, and of the fundamental weaknesses of contemporary welfare economics.
Peter Boettke of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Living Economics. Boettke argues for embracing the tradition of Smith and Hayek in both teaching and research, arguing that economics took a wrong turn when it began to look more like a branch of applied mathematics. He sees spontaneous order as the central principle for understanding and teaching economics. The conversation also includes a brief homage to James Buchanan who passed away shortly before this interview was recorded.