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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the early contributions to public choice beginning with what might be called its antecedents. These include the works of the Marquis de Condorcet (1743–1794), Jean-Charles de Borda (1733–1799), Charles L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) (1823–1898), Harold Hotelling (1895–1973), Knut Wicksell (1851–1926), and Joseph A. Schumpeter (1883–1950). The chapter dates the modern literature from 1948, starting with the work of Duncan Black (1908–1991). It defines the early modern literature as spanning the twenty-five years after Black’s first contributions (1948–1973). The chapter proceeds by chronicling the contributions of the leading figures in public choice over that period in addition to Black—James M. Buchanan (1919–2013), Kenneth J. Arrow (1921–2017), Kenneth O. May (1915–1977), Anthony Downs (1930–), Gordon Tullock (1922–2014), William Vickrey (1914–1996), William H. Riker (1920–1993), Mancur Olson (1932–1998), James S. Coleman (1926–1995), Amartya K. Sen (1933–), and William A. Niskanen (1933–2011). It offers some final thoughts on the early literature in the closing section.

Keywords: public choice, antecedents, early contributions, modern literature, leading figures

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