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Austrian influences on the Public Choice school.

July 11, 2006

Last week I attended the Public Choice Outreach Program and this week The Summer Institute each put on by the Center for the Study of Public Choice at George Mason University. Both events have been most rewarding thus far, and I would highly recomend them for students and scholars interested in the ideas of Public Choice.

Of particular interest to the readers of this blog, were two of the first presentations yesterday. The first was an informal discussion between James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock. It is an unmatchable experience to observe these two great minds in action. Most interesting was Tullock's crediting of Mises as his major influence spurring him onto the idea of merging the disciplines of policitical science and economics. Buchanan admitted to having been ignorant of Mises at the time of drafting the bulk of his major theories, but once introduced to works like Human Action it was clear that Mises was the closest thinker to what he had in mind for Public Choice.

The second presentation of major interest to readers of this blog softly supports this link between Mises and Tullock and Buchanan. It was a breif review of Buchanan's archived material now available on the GMU library website. Notice this letter in particular where Tullock says to Buchanan, "I have had an idea which might be worth thinking about. Why not try to set up a committe on Praxeology (or some similar phrase) in the Soutern Association."

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