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BUREAUCRACY AND PUBLIC ECONOMICS

The Locke Institute series
The late William A. Niskanen, formerly Chairman, The Cato Institute, US
Bureaucracy and Public Economics brings together in one volume the classic book and related articles which put forward the first formal economic theory of the behaviour of bureaucracies.

William Niskanen Jr. has consistently argued that bureaucrats have personal objectives – that differ from those of both their political supervisors and the general public – which they further by use of their monopoly power. He develops his argument to contend that government budgets have become too large and should be curtailed. All of Professor Niskanen’s major contributions to this field have been brought together in this one volume including his pioneering article on ‘The Peculiar Economics of Bureaucracy’, the full text of the book ‘Bureaucracy and Representative Government’ and his recent reassessment of the larger body of scholarship on the economics of bureaucracy.
Extent: 320 pp
Paperback Price: £31.00 Online: £24.80
Publication Date: 1996
ISBN: 978 1 85898 041 6
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Austrian Economics
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Choice
Bureaucracy and Public Economics brings together in one volume the classic book and related articles which put forward the first formal economic theory of the behaviour of bureaucracies.

William Niskanen Jr. has consistently argued that bureaucrats have personal objectives – that differ from those of both their political supervisors and the general public – which they further by use of their monopoly power. He develops his argument to contend that government budgets have become too large and should be curtailed. All of Professor Niskanen’s major contributions to this field have been brought together in this one volume including his pioneering article on ‘The Peculiar Economics of Bureaucracy’, the full text of the book ‘Bureaucracy and Representative Government’ and his recent reassessment of the larger body of scholarship on the economics of bureaucracy.

Scholars, students and teachers of public economics will welcome this volume which, by making some of the key contributions in the field more widely accessible, will provoke discussion, debate and further research.
Reviews of the first edition:
‘This book is a lively, well organized, clearly written development of a model of bureaucratic production.’
– Earl A. Thompson, Journal of Economic Literature

‘This useful and thought-provoking volume brings together all of the author’s major contributions to this field.’
– Aslib Book Guide

‘This reprint of Niskanen’s work is very valuable. We may hope that this time round, readers will concentrate less on Niskanen’s catchphrase and more on the analysis which he offers. Perhaps they will then realize that the question of bureaucratic over-supply is both more complex than is often recognized and also less assured.’
– Keith Dowding, The Manchester School

‘Edward Elgar are to be commended for making Niskanen’s important and highly topical contributions more readily available to a new generation of scholars and enabling some less well-stocked libraries to fill an important gap in their collections.’
– Stuart Sayer, The Economic Journal

‘He [the author] is a highly esteemed professional economist. Clearly, he brings to this subject unquestionable competence and deep conviction about the importance of the subject . . . the concluding sections deserve respectful attention by anyone seriously interested in promoting improvement in what has become a major element in the way we live – government.’
– C. Lowell Harriss, Presidential Studies Quarterly

‘This particular book offers a very useful collation of Niskanen’s leading contribution over more than two decades to the development of a formal economic theory of how and why the rational self interest of bureaucrats, often grounded in the interests of the bureau itself, subvert their masters’ intentions and the process of representative government more generally.’
– Steve Molloy, Reviewing Sociology