Collected Works of Arthur Seldon

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More About This Textbook

Overview

“Arthur Seldon has, more than most of us, been able to combine realism in prediction with idealism in vision.”
—James M. Buchanan

Arthur Seldon was born in 1916 and has lived through the most dynamic and volatile century in the history of humankind. His advocacy of and undeterred belief in classical liberalism have sought to combat the intoxicating and deceptive “comfort” of collectivism created by the instability of two world wars and unprecedented technological and sociological change.

From the late 1950s Seldon’s partnership with Ralph Harris (later Lord Harris), as Editorial Director and General Director respectively, made the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) the bellwether for classical liberal thought throughout England and eventually the world. In their early years, when very few people dared dispute Keynesian thought, Harris and Seldon argued against its determined centralization and its consequent collectivist tendencies. In the face of the status quo, IEA provided astute defenses of market solutions to various societal problems. Their arguments, always coherent, were often bolstered by case studies and compelling empirical evidence. They sought market alternatives to government-manipulated programs concerning such issues as public pensions, public education, public health care, social welfare, and corporate welfare.

Gradually, as collectivist programs started to break down of their own weight, IEA’s writings became the intellectual underpinnings to alternative solutions to the welfare state. In the early 1980s, IEA’s various themes on smaller government became a substantive part of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s reforms. Such reforms led to the privatization of nationalized corporations, labor union reorganization, and abolition of exchange controls. IEA’s efforts for change did not stop in England. According to Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, the influence of IEA has “contributed greatly to the change in the intellectual climate of opinion around the world.”

Seldon’s writings are clear and accessible. He has the uncommon ability to translate complex information, often fraught with esoteric philosophical and technical jargon, into clear, understandable prose for both intellectual and lay consumption.

The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon spans 65 years of Seldon’s influential thought and elaborates on the genesis of almost all the public/private debates currently before the world. His arguments are as compelling and relevant today as they were over a half century ago.

Each volume of this series has a contextual introduction and, except for Volume 3, an individual index. Volume 7 contains an index to the entire series. Everyman’s Dictionary of Economics, cowritten with Fred G. Pennance, Volume 3 of this series, is an essential tool for anyone who wants a better understanding of political economics.

Colin Robinson was a business economist for eleven years. He was then appointed to the Chair of Economics at the University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom where he founded the Department of Economics and is now Emeritus Professor. For many years he has been associated with the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs and from 1992 to 2002 he was the IEA’s Editorial Director.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865975576
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Series: The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon
  • Edition description: 7-Volume Set
  • Pages: 3039
  • Product dimensions: 13.80 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 4.90 (d)

Table of Contents


Volume 1

Introduction ix
Introduction to Economic Forces at Work (Ronald H. Coase) xvii
Principles of Professional Advancement xxi

PART 1 UNCERTAINTY AND INFORMATION COSTS
Uncertainty, Evolution and Economic Theory 3
Biological Analogies in the Theory of the Firm: Comment 18
Review of The Investment Decision 22
The Meaning of Utility Measurement 26
Information Costs, Pricing and Resource Unemployment 53
What Is the Best System? 78
Market Value Effects of Take-Overs? An All-or-Nothing 106
Tender of Conjectures
(Armen A. Alchian, Henry Manne, and Susan Woodward)
Information, Martingales and Prices 113
Why Money? 123
Trading Stamps (Armen A. Alchian and Benjamin Klein) 132
There Really Is a Free Service 143
Why Brand Names? 148
The Chef, Gourmet and Gourmand 151

PART 2 COST
Costs and Outputs 161
Cost 180
Reliability of Progress Curves in Airframe Production 202

PART 3 THE SOURCE AND MEASUREMENT OF INFLATION
On a Correct Measure of Inflation 225
(Armen A. Alchian and Benjamin Klein)
Be Wary of the CPI Commission Report! 248
(Armen A. Alchian and Harold M. Somers)
There’s Only 1 Cause for Inflation 249
Problems of Rising Prices 253

PART 4 EFFECTS OF INFLATION
Effects of Inflation (Reuben A. Kessel and Armen A. Alchian) 277
Redistribution of Wealth Through Inflation 301
(Armen A. Alchian and Reuben A. Kessel)
More Evidence on Inflation-Caused Wealth Redistribution 314
(Armen A. Alchian and Reuben A. Kessel)
Inflation and Distribution of Income and Wealth 381
Effects of Inflation upon Stock Prices 397
(Armen A. Alchian and Reuben A. Kessel)
How the Government Gains from Inflation 405
(Armen A. Alchian and Reuben Kessel)
The Meaning and Validity of the Inflation-Induced Lag 414
of Wages Behind Prices (Reuben A. Kessel and Armen A. Alchian)
Real Wages in the North During the Civil War: 442
Mitchell’s Data Reinterpreted
(Reuben A. Kessel and Armen A. Alchian)

PART 5 PRICE CONTROLS
Review of the Council of Economic Advisers’ 1972 Report: 467
A Comment
An Introduction to Confusion 477
Abbott and Costello in Washington 495
There’s Gas in Your Future 504
Oil Decontrol Windfall: Magical or Real? 509
Energy Economics 513
It’s Easy to End Gas Shortage 517
To Be Fair, Let Each Solve His Own Fuel Crisis 521

PART 6 SEMANTICS AND METHODS
The Economics of Power 527
Summary Notes on Misleading Economic Jargon 537
Words: Musical or Meaningful? 549
Rent 586
Allocative Efficiency with Edgeworth-Bowley Boxes 594
The Rate of Interest, Fisher’s Rate of Return over Costs 612
and Keynes’ Internal Rate of Return
Linear Progress Curves Are Illusions 619
Linear Progress Curves Are Not Illusions 623
Why the Learning Curve Is Convex on Double Log Scale 626
Review of Dynamic Equipment Policy 630
Meanings and Uses of Equations and Models 635
Review of Essays in Economics and Econometrics: 645
A Volume in Honor of Harold Hotelling

Economic Replacement Policy 649
1. Introduction 657
2. Elements of the Replacement Problem 664
3. Mathematical Formulation 672
4. Specific Assumptions, Forecasts, and Computations 680
5. Illustration of Procedure 691
6. Some Issues Common to All Applications 707
Appendixes (abridged) 715

Analysis Procedures 725
20. Principles of Statistical Analysis 727
21. Univariate Analysis 736
22. Bivariate Analysis 756
23. Multivariate Analysis 785

Authors Cited 803
Subject Index 807

Volume 2

Introduction ix
Of Golf, Capitalism and Socialism xiii

PART 1 THE ECONOMIC THEORY OF PROPERTY RIGHTS
Some Economics of Property 3
Some Economics of Property Rights 52
Pricing and Society 68
The Property Rights Paradigm (Armen A. Alchian and Harold Demsetz) 84
Property Rights [1987] 96
Property Rights [1993] 105
The Bishops and the Lay Commission: Comments on Two Letters
(Armen A. Alchian and William H. Meckling) 111
Some Implications of Recognition of Property Right
Transactions Costs 126
The BeneQciaries of Cleaner Air 145

PART 2 THE THEORY OF THE FIRM
Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization
(Armen A. Alchian and Harold Demsetz) 151
Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the
Competitive Contracting Process
(Benjamin Klein, Robert G. Crawford, and Armen A. Alchian) 179
First Negotiation, First Refusal Rights
(Armen A. Alchian, Benjamin Klein, and Earl A. Thompson) 214
Decision Sharing and Expropriable Specific Quasi-Rents:
A Theory of First National Maintenance Corporation v. NLRB 223
Amicus Curiae: Monsanto Company vs. Spray-Rite Corporation
(Wesley J. Liebeler, Armen A. Alchian, Jeffrey Connor,
Harold Demsetz, Michael Granfield, Robert L. Jordan,
and Stanley Ornstein
) 238
Reminiscences of Errors: A Tribute in Honor of
Dean William H. Meckling on His Retirement 258
Specificity, Specialization, and Coalitions 269
Reflections on the Theory of the Firm
(Armen A. Alchian and Susan Woodward) 287
Concluding Remarks 317
The Firm Is Dead; Long Live the Firm: A Review of
Oliver Williamson’s The Economic Institutions of Capitalism
(Armen A. Alchian and Susan Woodward) 321
Development of Economic Theory and Antitrust:
A View from the Theory of the Firm 346
Thoughts on the Theory of the Firm: A Tribute to Eirik G. Furubotn 350
Vertical Integration and Regulation in the Telephone Industry 355
Baldarelli vs. H&R Block 362

PART 3 THE BEHAVIOR OF GOVERNMENT AND
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Private Property and the Relative Cost of Tenure 375
Economics of Tenure 393
Competition, Monopoly and the Pursuit of Money
(Armen A. Alchian and Reuben A. Kessel) 402
Review of The Economics of Discrimination 421
The Meaning of Collusion 424
Electrical Equipment Collusion: Why and How 429
Dollars or Scholars: The Economics of College Football
(Armen Alchian and William Meckling) 437
The Basis of Some Recent Advances in the Theory of
Management of the Firm 441
Incentives in the United States
(William H. Meckling and Armen A. Alchian) 453
Market Prices, Property and Behavior 460
Customs, Behavior, and Property Rights 481
An Economist Looks at Secondary Education in California 487
Cost Effectiveness of Cost Effectiveness 492
An Economic Analysis of the Market for Scientists and Engineers
(A. A. Alchian, K. J. Arrow, and W. M. Capron) 507

PART 4 LAW AND ECONOMICS
On Private Property and Freedom 595
Economic Laws and Political Legislation 599
Review of Public Law Perspectives on a Private Law Problem:
Auto Compensation Plans
611
Corporate Management and Property Rights 615
Private Rights to Property: The Basis of Corporate Governance and Human Rights 636
On Corporations: A Visit with Smith 650
Constitutional Baselines by Virtual Contract: A General Theory and Its Application to Regulatory Takings
(Wesley J. Liebeler and Armen Alchian) 661

PART 5 THE ECONOMICS OF GIFTS
The Economics of Rational Assistance
(Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen) 695
The Economic and Social Impact of Free Tuition 700
What Price Zero Tuition? (Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen) 716
The Pure Economics of Giving (Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen) 722

Authors Cited 731
Subject Index 735

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