April, 2003

Public Choice and Socialism - Working Paper

  • Peter J. Boettke

    Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Peter Leeson

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Key materials
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A century that began with increasing demands for the regulation of business and economic planning by government to achieve more efficient production and a more egalitarian distribution of income, ended with a worldwide privatization revolution and a generalized recognition of the innovative benefits that accrue from entrepreneurship. The intellectual demand for state control of economic life was replaced by a 'gains from trade' understanding of how the world works. Public choice theory played no small role in this dramatic shift in the intellectual climate of opinion. More pertinent for our purposes in this working paper, public choice theory provided the intellectual apparatus needed to pierce the Romantic veil of socialist ideology and lay bear the ugly reality of the political economy of socialism.