Readings in Political Economy / Edition 1

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Ranging from authoritative seminal pieces to striking contemporary papers, the readings in this volume explore the complex intersections between politics and economics from the perspectives of both disciplines.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"By putting together a number of outstanding contributions to the field of political economy, Kaushik Basu has rendered an invaluable service to all those interested in knowing how economists address an issue that had largely eluded them till a few decades ago."
Jean-Philippe Platteau, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix

"The revival in recent years of the study of political institutions from an economic perspective is exemplified in this collection of exciting articles, which assembles influential contributions from economists, philosophers and political scientists."
Ernst Fehr, University of Zürich

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies in the Economics Department at Cornell University. He is Editor of Social Choice and Welfare and Associate Editor of The Journal of Economic Perspectives and The Journal of Development Economics. He is author of many books and articles, including The Less Developed Economy, (Blackwell, 1984), Lectures in Industrial Organization Theory (Blackwell, 1993), and Analytical Development Economics (1997).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Roots 13
1 Extracts from Leviathan (1651) 15
2 Of the First Principles of Government (1758) 21
Pt. II Institutions, Markets, and Political Power 25
3 The Place of Institutions in the Economy: a Theoretical Perspective (1998) 27
4 Transaction Cost Economics and Organization Theory (1996) 35
5 The Role of Institutions in the Revival of Trade: the Law Merchant, Private Judges, and the Champagne Fairs (1990) 68
6 Institutions and International Trade: Lessons from the Commercial Revolution (1992) 89
7 Implications from the Disequilibrium of Majority Rule for the Study of Institutions (1980) 96
Pt. III Alternative Conceptions of the State 115
8 The Coase Theorem and the Theory of the State (1973) 117
9 Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development (1993) 130
10 Will Free Trade with Political Science Put Normative Economists out of work? (1997) 145
11 On Misunderstanding Government: an Analysis of the Art of Policy Advice (1997) 156
Pt. IV Government and Agency 173
12 Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design (1991) 175
13 The Internal Organization of Government (1994) 202
14 Power of Incentives in Private versus Public Organizations (1997), and extracts from The Making of Economic Policy (1996) 229
Pt. V The Political Process, Voting, and Public Choice 243
15 The Statics and Dynamics of Party Ideologies (1957) 245
16 Rationality and Social Choice (1995) 264
17 An Economic Model of Representative Democracy (1997) 291
18 Distributive Politics and Economic Growth (1994) 314
19 Is Inequality Harmful for Growth? (1994) 335
20 Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State (1999) 361
Index 387
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