James McGill Buchanan Jr. was an American economist known for his work on public choice theory, for which he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986. Buchanan’s work initiated research on how politicians’ and bureaucrats’ self-interest, utility maximization, and other non-wealth-maximizing considerations affect their decision-making. He was a member of the Board of Advisors of The Independent Institute, a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, and professor at George Mason University.
James M. Buchanan Jr.
What is ‘James M. Buchanan Jr.’
An American economist and winner of the 1986 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions to public choice theory. Born in Tennessee in 1919, Buchanan Jr. earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and George Mason University. Along with fellow economist Gordon Tullock, he wrote the famous book “The Calculus of Consent”.
Explaining ‘James M. Buchanan Jr.’
Public choice economics applies economics to political decision making. For example, public choice theory defies the conventional wisdom that politicians act in the best interests of their constituents and instead analyzes how incentives shape politicians’ choices to act in their own self-interest.
- James M. Buchanan and the political economy of desegregation – onlinelibrary.wiley.com [PDF]
- A Smithean perspective on increasing returns – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
- The contributions of James M. Buchanan to public finance and political economy – journals.sagepub.com [PDF]
- In celebration of Armen Alchian's 80th birthday: Living and breathing economics – onlinelibrary.wiley.com [PDF]
- The ethical limits of taxation – link.springer.com [PDF]