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Buchanan's Dominance of Wicksell's Unanimity Rule

Marianne Johnson

American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 2005, vol. 64, issue 4, 1049-1071

Abstract: This paper identifies the extent to which James Buchanan's interpretation of Knut Wicksell's unanimity rule, as spelled out in the second essay in "Finanztheoretische Untersuchungen" (1896), has come to dominate the public economics literature despite competing with the interpretation offered by Richard Musgrave. A brief summary of the differing interpretations is offered. Citation analysis is used to examine the frequency with which Wicksell is cited and by whom. The sociology of the economics profession and avenues for the dissemination of ideas are examined to understand the dominance of Buchanan's particular interpretation and application of the unanimity rule. Copyright 2005 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

Date: 2005
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