This volume is intended to serve as a review of the “next generation” of political economy scholars in what can be called the “Wagnerian” tradition, which traces its roots to Buchanan and De Viti De Marco in the 1930s, who argued that any decision that results from a political entity must be the product of individual decision makers operating within some framework of formal and informal rules. To treat these decisions as if they were the product of one single mind, or even simply the additive result of several decisions, is to fundamentally misunderstand and mischaracterize the dynamics of collective action. Today, Richard Wagner is among the most prominent theorists in analyzing the institutional foundations of the economy and the organization of political decision-making. In this collection of original essays, former students schooled in this tradition offer emerging insights on public choice theory, public finance, and political economy, across a range of topics from voting behavior to entrepreneurship.
Chapter 1: Introduction.- Chapter 2: Emergence and Entanglement in a Theory of Political Economy.- Chapter 3: Swimming in a Tuxedo: A Systems Theory Approach to Understanding Politics.- Chapter 4: Complex and Entangled Public Policy: Here Be Dragons.- Chapter 5: Taxonomy of Entrepreneurship: A Means-Oriented Approach.- Chapter 6: From Taciturn to Talkative Political Economy.- Chapter 7: Entanglement and Perverse Spontaneous Orders.- Chapter 8: The Tax Code as an Emergent Phenomenon.- Chapter 9: Political Property Rights and Entangled Political Economy.- Chapter 10: The Fiscal Squeeze: Budgets between Fiscal Illusion, Fiscal Commons, and the Tyranny of Experts.- Index.
Diana Thomas is an Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Economic Inquiry at the Heider College of Business at Creighton University. Previously, she served as an Assistant Professor at Utah State University. A German native, she earned her Diploma in Business Administration from Fachhochschule Aachen and her B.S. in Finance from George Mason University. After gaining some experience as a junior portfolio manager at a mutual fund management company in Frankfurt, Germany, Dr. Thomas returned to George Mason University to complete her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics. In her research, Dr. Thomas explores the unintended consequences of regulation and the role political entrepreneurs play in changing the rules that govern society. She has published in a number of academic outlets, including Public Choice, Kyklos, Applied Economics, the Southern Economic Journal, and the Journal of Banking and Finance.