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This paper analyzes how the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones” in foreign interventions abroad have changed the dynamics of government activities…
This paper analyzes how the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones” in foreign interventions abroad have changed the dynamics of government activities domestically. Facing limited or absent constraints abroad, foreign interventions served as a testing ground for the domestically constrained U.S. government to experiment with drone technologies and other methods of social control over foreign populations. Utilizing the “boomerang effect” framework developed by Coyne and Hall (2014), this paper examines the use of drones abroad and the mechanisms through which the technology has been imported back to the United States. The use of these technologies domestically has substantial implications for the freedom and liberties of U.S. citizens as it lowers the cost of government expanding the scope of its activities.
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the contributions of the Austrian school of economics, with specific emphasis on post-WWII developments. We provide a brief…
This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the contributions of the Austrian school of economics, with specific emphasis on post-WWII developments. We provide a brief history and overview of the original theorists of the Austrian school in order to set the stage for the subsequent development of their ideas by Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek. In discussing the main ideas of Mises and Hayek, we focus on how their work provided the foundations for the modern Austrian school, which included Ludwig Lachmann, Murray Rothbard and Israel Kirzner. These scholars contributed to the Austrian revival in the 1960s and 1970s, which, in turn, set the stage for the emergence of the contemporary Austrian school in the 1980s. We review the contemporary development of the Austrian school and, in doing so, discuss the tensions, alternative paths, and the promising future of Austrian economics.
The purpose of this paper is to present and compare alternative theoretical frameworks for understanding entrepreneurship policy: targeted interventions to increase…
The purpose of this paper is to present and compare alternative theoretical frameworks for understanding entrepreneurship policy: targeted interventions to increase venture creation and/or performance. The authors contrast the Standard view of the state as a coherent entity willing and able to rectify market failures with an Individualistic view that treats policymakers as self-interested individuals with limited knowledge.
The authors draw on the perspective of “politics as exchange” to provide a taxonomy of assumptions about knowledge and incentives of both entrepreneurship policymakers and market participants. The authors position extant literature in relation to this taxonomy, and assess the implications of alternative assumptions.
The rationale for entrepreneurship policy intervention is strong under the Standard view but becomes considerably more tenuous in the Individualistic view. The authors raise several conceptual challenges to the Standard view, highlighting inconsistencies between this view and the fundamental elements of the entrepreneurial market process such as uncertainty, dispersed knowledge and self-interest.
Entrepreneurship policy research is often applied; hence, the theoretical rationale for intervention can be overlooked. The authors make the implicit assumptions of these rationales explicit, showing how the adoption of “realistic” assumptions offers a robust toolkit to evaluate entrepreneurship policy.
While the authors agree with entrepreneurship policy interventionists that an “entrepreneurial society” is conducive to economic development, this framework suggests that targeted efforts to promote entrepreneurship may be inconsistent with that goal.
The Individualistic view draws on the rich traditions of public choice and the entrepreneurial market process to highlight the intended and unintended consequences of entrepreneurship policy.
This paper explores the interface between institutional theory and Austrian theory. We examine mainstream institutionalism as exemplified by D. C. North in his work with…
This paper explores the interface between institutional theory and Austrian theory. We examine mainstream institutionalism as exemplified by D. C. North in his work with Wallis and Weingast on the elite compact theory of social order and of transitions to impersonal rights, and propose instead an Austrian process-oriented perspective. We argue that mainstream institutionalism does not fully account for the efficiency of impersonal rules. Their efficiency can be better explained by a market for rules, which in turn requires a stable plurality of governance providers. Since an equilibrium of plural providers requires stable power polycentricity, the implication goes against consolidating organized means for violence as a doorstep condition to successful transitions. The paper demonstrates how to employ Ostroms’ Bloomington School Institutionalism to shift, convert, and recalibrate mainstream institutionalism's themes into an Austrian process-oriented theory.
US military contracting has been plagued by systematic corruption, fraud, and waste during both times of peace and war. These outcomes result from the inherent features of…
US military contracting has been plagued by systematic corruption, fraud, and waste during both times of peace and war. These outcomes result from the inherent features of the US military sector which incentivize unproductive entrepreneurship. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Drawing on the insights of Baumol (1990) as their base theoretical framework, the authors explore how the industrial organization of the US military sector creates incentives for unproductive entrepreneurship. Evidence from US government reports regarding US efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq is provided to illustrate the central claims.
The military sector is characterized by an entangled network of government bureaus and private firms whose existence is dependent on continued government spending. These realities, coupled with a dysfunctional procurement processes, reward unproductive behaviors during peacetime. During wartime these incentives are intensified, as significant emergency resources are injected into an already defective contracting system. The recent experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq illustrate these dynamics.
The authors make three main contributions. First, contrary to common treatments by economists, much military spending fails to meet the definition of a public good. Second, waste, fraud, and abuse in military contracting is a result of rules and the incentives those rules create. Third, the only way to change the situation is to change the overarching rules governing the people operating in the military sector.
The fatal conceit is the assumption that the world can be shaped according to human desires. This chapter argues that the logic of the fatal conceit can be applied to…
The fatal conceit is the assumption that the world can be shaped according to human desires. This chapter argues that the logic of the fatal conceit can be applied to foreign interventions which go beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed by reason alone. In suffering from the fatal conceit, these interventions are characterized by: (1) the realization that intentions do not equal results, (2) a reliance on top-down planning, (3) the view of development as a technological issue, (4) a reliance on bureaucracy over markets, and (5) the primacy of collectivism over individualism. These characteristics explain why interventions extending beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed tend to fail.
This chapter explores the political economy of F.A. Hayek with emphasis on the continued relevance of his work for contemporary scholars. We focus on the theme of…
This chapter explores the political economy of F.A. Hayek with emphasis on the continued relevance of his work for contemporary scholars. We focus on the theme of coordination throughout Hayek's research program. This general theme can be traced from Hayek's technical economics up through his later writings in political philosophy. After considering Hayek's major works in political and legal theory, we conclude by discussing the contemporary implications of Hayek's political economy. Specifically, we discuss eight areas where modern economists should pay close attention to the main lessons and themes in Hayek's writings.