This book discusses the main topics of the public-social choice literature of the past 40 years. Separate chapters discuss various applied public choice questions such as rent seeking, the growth of government, the rise and decline of nations, political business cycles, why people vote, and the nature and extent of redistribution. The book details normative issues in public choice, including Bergson-Samuelson social welfare functions, the Arrow and Sen impossibility theorems, the work of John Rawls, John Harsanyi, James Buchanan, and Gordon Tullock. This book is a major revision of Public Choice, containing eleven new chapters in addition to substantial revision and expansion. Separate sections containing proofs of the most important theorems have been added. It is appropriate for both graduate and undergraduate courses in public choice economics and political theory, or as a supplement in courses dealing with related questions such as public finance.
Table of Contents1. Introduction; Part I. Origins of State: 2. The reasons for collective choice - allocative efficiency; 3. Allocative efficiency or redistribution; Part II. Public Choice in a Direct Democracy: 4. The choice of voting rule; 5. Majority rule - positive properties; 6. Majority rule - normative properties; 7. Simple alternatives to majority rule; 8. Complicated alternatives to majority rule; 9. Exit, voice and disloyalty; Part III. Public Choice in a Representative Democracy: 10. Two party competition - deterministic voting; 11. Two party competition - probabilistic voting; 12. Multiparty systems; 13. Rent seeking; 14. The supply of government output; Part IV. Applications: 15. Political competition and macroeconoic performance; 16. The logic of collective action and macroeconomic performance; 17. The size of government; 18. The paradox of voting; Part V. Normative Public Choice: 19. Real valued social welfare functions; 20. Axiomatic social welfare functions; 21. A just social contract; 22. Utilitarian contracts; Part VI. Normative and Positive Theories of Public Choice Compared: 23. Redistribution; 24. Allocation, redistribution and public choice; References.