Formal Contributions to the Theory of Public Choice
The Unpublished Works of Duncan Black
Brady, Gordon L., Tullock, Gordon (Eds.)
1996, XIV, 272 p.
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Duncan Black made a significant contribution to the development of public choice theory during his lifetime. Upon his death it became apparent that much of his scholarship and critique of economics was never published. Formal Contributions to the Theory of Public Choice is a collection of Duncan Black's unpublished works, representing his continuing contribution to economics and political science. It provides an insight into Black's intellectual endeavors and introduces some new ideas and extensions of earlier work.
Introduction. Book I: History. 1. Introductory notes. 2. Hobbes' contribution to abstract political science. 2. How expenditure of the tax proceeds came to be disregarded in the theory of incidence. 4. Historical notes: Pythagoreans, Reverend C. L. Dodgson, Knut Wicksell and Lord Keynes. 5. Some notes on the development structure and the theory of committees. Book II: Epistemology. 1. Introductory notes. 2. Some important distinctions: the traditional distinction between instrumental and independent action. 3. Rational behaviour. 4. The mechanisms of hedonistic choice. 5. The commensurability of intensities of desires (pleasures). 6. That the same mathematical model applies in epistemology. 7. The assumptions - imperfect knowledge, divided expectations and the discount. Book III: Logrolling. 1. Introductory notes. 2. On logrolling. 3. Logrolling. 4. Wicksell's use of the theory of committees on public finance. 5. The geometrical theory of a special majority geometry. 6. The theory of an international committee requiring a unanimous decision. 7. Dicey on logrolling. Book IV: Economics. 1. Introductory notes. 2. The concept of cost in economics. 3. Wicksteed's theorem that the concept of supply could be dispensed with and its narrower and wider implications. Book IV: Psychology. 1. Introductory notes. 2. The theory of relative utility following the second Austrian school. 3. Definition of relative weights and hypothesis that choice follows the Condorcet or Borda criterion. 4. A suggested application of the theory of committees in value and probability. Appendix I. Curriculum vitae of Duncan Black. Index.