Renowned Economist Tullock Featured in National Review
With the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Economics due in early October, George Mason Professor of Law Gordon Tullock is the subject of a recent National Review article honoring his life's work in law and economics, specifically his pioneering research on public-choice theory and rent-seeking behavior.
The non-Nobelist: But Gordon Tullock, maverick economist, deserves one, National Review, September 25, 2006. By John J. Miller.
"Tullock is the author of one of the most groundbreaking economics papers ever published: 'The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies, and Theft.' It explained that when individuals or groups try to gain economic advantages through the manipulation of government policy — lobbying to build trade barriers or legal monopolies, for instance — the costs of their activities are both high and hidden. They not only discourage competition, but also drive talented people into non-productive activities, as skilled managers devote themselves to winning new favors from government or defending the ones they already have. Today, this behavior is called 'rent-seeking,' and it is of course deeply embedded in Washington's political culture of earmarks and subsidies. In his paper, Tullock mischievously likened the whole enterprise to theft. 'I try to raise eyebrows in everything I write,' he says."
"Tullock never married and he has no kids, so what he will leave behind is his work. There's an awful lot of it, and it covers a vast range of subjects: income redistribution, political revolutions, and even biology (he once wrote a paper on a bird called the coal tit). The Liberty Fund recently put out The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock, a ten-volume set that spans more than 4,000 pages. 'I can't complain about my career being blighted,' he says. 'I've done very well.' He's also done a great deal of good, for which the world should be grateful, regardless of what they say in Stockholm."