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The paper offers a number of vignettes surrounding Friedrich A. Hayek’s receipt of the Nobel Prize. It examines Hayek’s life before he got the prize, describes the events in Stockholm, and offers a summary of the main themes of his Prize Lecture. It then examines the subsequent impact on Hayek’s life and career. It concludes… Read more »

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This paper investigates the industrial organization of the international drug trade. From the mid 1970s through the early 2000s, a few large-scale and hierarchically organized cartels dominated the market. Since 2006, dozens of smaller and more-specialized units have emerged. We notice that the prohibition efforts of federal governments (primarily Mexico and the U.S.) imposed costs… Read more »

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We develop a framework for understanding how legal structures relate to imprisonment. We hypothesize that relatively more hierarchy within criminal justice institutions, compared to commercial law, fosters higher rates of incarceration. Our framework predicts that incarceration reflects asymmetric opportunities for rent seeking across differently organized legal institutions. Instead of comparing criminal justice institutions across nations… Read more »

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Standard economic theory proposes that public goods (equally available to everyone) will be underprovided by private markets. Individuals can benefit without having to pay, so there is little incentive to invest or manage resources efficiently. The punishment of criminals is an example of this, since everyone in a society benefits from reduced crime whether they… Read more »

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This book argues that the work of the Austrian economists, including Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, has been too narrowly interpreted. Through a study of Viennese politics and culture, it demonstrates that the project they were engaged in was much broader: the study and defense of a liberal civilization. Erwin… Read more »

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Heterarchy is a complex adaptive system of governance, an order with more than one governing principle. Heterarchies include elements of hierarchies and networks, but in a number of important ways, heterarchies are different from both of these systems of governance. The model of heterarchical governance is like plate tectonics: mutually self-contained orders with unclear hierarchies… Read more »

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This chapter demonstrates the way in which an economic rationality of state support for the arts was developed in the 1970’s and 80’s by analyzing three crucial debates between economists of the arts and others. It is argued that the economists of the arts sought to provide a more solid foundation for specific state policies… Read more »

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The paper investigates the fiscal effects of Swiss cantonal debt brakes by taking explicitly into account the rules’ coverage. An in-depth analysis provides unique evidence that suggests the following: First, fiscal rules reduce public deficits. The effect is stronger the better the analyzed budget position corresponds with the variable targeted by the rules. Second, cantonal… Read more »