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Gordon Tullock


Who is Gordon Tullock?:

From Tullock's biography: "Gordon Tullock is University Professor of Law and Economics and Distinguished Research Fellow in the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy at George Mason University. He holds a joint teaching position in the Department of Economics and the School of Law. Professor Tullock received a J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1947." Tullock is one of the fathers of public choice theory.

What is Gordon Tullock Most Famous For?:

His pioneering work in public choice theory and the political economy of rent seeking. His book The Calculus of Concent which he coauthored with Nobel Laureaute James Buchanan is one of the most widely read post-war economics books.

Well-Known Articles Written by Gordon Tullock:

His article "The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies and Theft" in the Western Economics Journal (1967) is well known. His article "Public Decisions and Public Goods" is also well known. My favorite Gordon Tullock paper is "The General Irrelevance of the General Impossibility Theorem" (1967) which is still studied in many Political Economy classes.

Books Written by Gordon Tullock:

Tullock has written many books, none of which were as famous as The Calculus of Concent. His biography lists the following books: The Logic of the Law, The Politics of Bureaucracy, The Social Dilemma, Autocracy, The Economics of Non-Human Societies, Rent Seeking and On Voting.

Graduate Students of Gordon Tullock:

Tullock's work has influenced thousands of students in Political Economy, but to my knowledge he does not have any graduate students of note.

What Will Gordon Tullock Be Remembered For?:

Gordon Tullock, along with James Buchanan created public choice theory, which has revolutionized the field of political economy. Mancur Olson's The Logic of Collective Action and An Economic Theory of Democracy built on a lot of the early public choice theory and brought those ideas into the mainstram. EconLib has a terrific article on public choice theory.

Why Gordon Tullock May Win the Nobel Prize in 2003:

Gordon Tullock revolutionized a field of study like few other economists ever have. Tullock is a hero of mine, so I'll be hoping that he wins.

Why Gordon Tullock May Not Win the Nobel Prize in 2003:

When James Buchanan won the Nobel Prize in 1986, the Nobel commitee acknowledged the study of public choice theory. They may not want to do so again. Many economists believed that Tullock would some day win the award jointly with Mancur Olson, but Olson passed away a few years ago and is thus ineligible for the award.

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