- Copyright Page
- Rational Choice and Politics: An Introduction to the Research Program and Methodology of Public Choice
- Choosing among Governments
- Public Choice: Early Contributions
- From Paired Comparisons and Cycles to Arrow’s Theorem
- Institution-Induced Stability
- Voting Power
- Aggregation of Information by Binary Voting Rules
- Political Choices in One Dimension: Theory
- Political Choices in One Dimension: Applications
- Spatial Voting Models of Party Competition in Two Dimensions
- Spatial Social Choice
- Economic Voting
- Valence Politics
- The Study of Strategic Voting
- Turnout: Why Do Voters Vote?
- Expressive Voting
- Altruism and Political Participation
- Social Embeddedness and Rational Turnout
- Information Cues and Rational Ignorance
- Campaign Finance
- Primaries, Conventions, and Other Methods for Nominating Candidates: How Do They Matter?
- Logrolling and Coalitions
- Collective Action
- Rent Seeking: The Social Cost of Contestable Benefits
- The Structure of Contests and the Extent of Dissipation
- The Political Economy of Rent Creation and Rent Extraction
- Empirical Evidence on Rent-Seeking Costs
- “The Bureaucracy” as an Interest Group
- Interest Groups and Regulatory Capture
- The Political Economy of Trust
- Contested Political Persuasion
- Stochastic Process Models of Preference Change
- Leadership as Persuasion
- Fairness Concepts
- Social Contract versus Invisible Hand: Agreeing to Solve Social Dilemmas
- Utilitarianism as a Criterion for State Action
- Public Choice and Happiness
- Kantianism and Political Institutions
- Public Choice and Libertarianism
- Public Choice and Social Democracy
- Supreme Values, Totalitarianism, and Terrorism
- Fair Division in Dispute Resolution
- Fair Division in Allocating Cabinet Ministries
Abstract and Keywords
As a criterion for state action, utilitarianism faces the difficulty that it permits the expectations of some to be overridden for the benefit of others. Neither Bentham’s felicific calculus nor the related cost-benefit analysis can justify the coercion needed for state action. Social welfare functions, including those that incorporate Rawls’s difference principle, face the same difficulty as utilitarianism. One way of resolving this problem is to move to a constitutional framework of constrained utilitarianism, under which only policies that violate no one’s reasonable expectations are considered. To ensure that no one will have a reasonable basis for objecting, there must be a Tieboutian opportunity for dissenters to form their own polities.
Nicolaus Tideman is Professor of Economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Florenz Plassmann is Professor of Economics and Political Science at Binghamton University.
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