Economics at your fingertips  

Gordon Tullock: a Conspectus on His Life's Work

Richard E. Wagner ()
Additional contact information
Richard E. Wagner: George Mason University - Department of Economics, 3G4

History of Economic Ideas, 2015, vol. 23, issue 1, 11-22

Abstract: Gordon Tullock (1922-2014) was a thinker par excellence. As with most thinkers, the tale of his life is told mostly through his scholarship. Accordingly, this essay reviews Tullock’s scholarship in such fields as public choice, law and economics, rent seeking, bureaucracy, social conflict, and non-human societies. Tullock is often cast as exemplifying a reductionist style of homo economicus reasoning. This is a severe misreading of Tullock, a caricature of Tullock. To the contrary, Tullock was a social theorist who thought in terms of interaction among heterogeneous agents who in no way reduced those agents to some representative agent. Tullock’s primary orientation was to theorize from inside his phenomena, in contrast to most social theorists who seek to theorize from some position outside their phenomena. Tullock was also a warm and sensitive man who was filled with a zest for whimsy, which is a quality that often accompanies highly creative people, though he sometimes had trouble directing that whimsy as he might have hoped.

Date: 2015
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

History of Economic Ideas is currently edited by Riccardo Faucci, Nicola Giocoli, Roberto Marchionatti

More articles in History of Economic Ideas from Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mario Aldo Cedrini ().

Page updated 2019-07-27
Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:23:y:2015:1:1:p:11-22