In a relatively new and interesting study, a new theory was offered to explain events surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692. According to the author of that study…
In a relatively new and interesting study, a new theory was offered to explain events surrounding the Salem witch trials of 1692. According to the author of that study (Carlson), the behavior of the accusers can be explained by an outbreak of encephalitis. The purpose of this paper is to offer evidence that contradicts that hypothesis.
To these ends, this paper examines life expectancy data from the Wigglesworth 1789 life expectancy tables to reject the Carlson thesis. The current study also provides a graphical exposition of the Salem witch trials as a demand‐pull phenomenon.
According to the data, the age at‐death minus the Wigglesworth life expectancy of 28.15 years for the witch trials accusers averages between 26.4 years, a figure that is statistically significant. This result contradicts Carlson's view that the accusers encountered encephalitis. Finally, the stylized graphical model presented here provides an additional way of viewing the witchcraft episode in 1692 Salem as a demand‐pull phenomenon. Originality/value In refuting previous hypotheses about witchcraft episodes, and by offering a graphical model of witchcraft hysteria as a demand‐pull phenomenon, this study re‐focuses attention on the ethico‐economic aspects of the Salem witchcraft episode.
The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the modern economic theory of bureaucracy developed by economists Breton and Wintrobe is a heretofore unrecognized precursor…
The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the modern economic theory of bureaucracy developed by economists Breton and Wintrobe is a heretofore unrecognized precursor to the new public management (NPM) construct.
After presenting a comparison of the modern economic theory of bureaucracy to the basic principles of NPM, this paper offers a treatment of Breton and Wintrobe's modern economic theory of bureaucracy that uses the compelling episodic example of the 1944 attempt by the Nazi SS to deceive, through the now infamous Theresienstadt “Embellishment,” the International Red Cross and world communities about the existence of the Nazi Holocaust bureaucracy.
The comparison of the conceptual elements of the two models and the integration of the historical episodic example support the view that the modern economic theory of bureaucracy is a precursor to NPM.
This is the first study to date to present the modern economic theory of bureaucracy as a precursor to the principles of NPM. As such, future research in either area that recognizes the connection made in the present study is potentially enhanced.
Provides a compatible model to previous work on college student migration in the form of a recursive set of equations. Points out that “hidden resource distortion”, a form of rent seeking in the political process, is positively related to institutional support for public colleges and universities in the United States. This result has implications concerning the goals of educational administrators, namely the incentive to “budget‐maximize”. This activity relates to the setting of public college tuition levels, which is a major factor determining the migration incentives of college students. In this model, resource distortion in the educational production function ultimately alters the choice set facing “consumers” in the search for optimal human capital attainment.
As pointed out previously by economists, the implicit demand for cost‐saving information by potential buyers generates a derived demand for advertising by sellers. This…
As pointed out previously by economists, the implicit demand for cost‐saving information by potential buyers generates a derived demand for advertising by sellers. This study adds to the body of evidence that reveals the positive role of advertising in the market process. The evidence presented here suggests that sellers do respond to the higher time costs faced by transient populations by providing advertising qua information in a manner that minimizes the total cost of voluntary exchange.
World folklore and history are replete with examples that involve economics principles. The present note builds upon other published work by providing an empirical public…
World folklore and history are replete with examples that involve economics principles. The present note builds upon other published work by providing an empirical public choice analysis of the Salem witch trials of 1692. Our analysis suggests that the pattern of accusations during this episode was non‐random, and works to support the public choice argument that Reverend Parris and the other ministers used the witchcraft hysteria as a “crusade” against residents of east Salem village because they supported – against the wishes of Parris and the west Salem villagers – economic and political alignment with the neighboring Salem town.
In 1990, the federal government of the United States passed a billto allow an increase in legal immigration by 1.2 million until 1994.Many questions concerning immigration…
In 1990, the federal government of the United States passed a bill to allow an increase in legal immigration by 1.2 million until 1994. Many questions concerning immigration have been detailed in the economics literature. They concern the effects of immigration on the earnings of the native born, immigration as a form of worker‐sorting, and the allocation schemes concerning the immigration of skilled and non‐skilled workers. Examines the theoretical and empirical answers to these questions. Points out that an examination of immigrant earnings over time often depends on the type of model selected, cohort or cross‐sectional analysis. Also, many immigrants seek a political and economic environment that promotes self‐employment as a form of worker‐sorting. Also of interest, theoretical debate is provided on the nature of immigration, being either political or economic. The debate over immigration has many policy implications for the 1990s, because of the first changes in immigration restrictions since Simpson‐Rodino of 1965.
Provides a model of human capital search by examining collegestudent migration across states. Tests pertinent investment andconsumption benefits. Employs OLS estimation…
Provides a model of human capital search by examining college student migration across states. Tests pertinent investment and consumption benefits. Employs OLS estimation for 49 states, with unique measures for college quality, college climate, and college location. Tests income and price parameters, as well as “super‐selectivity” among certain college groups. The variables for price and college quality are highly significant, while the evidence with consumption benefits remains unresolved. Although several policy options remain open to college administrations, certain public choice incentives may act to impede the working of the university as a “firm”.
The purpose of the present study is to test the hypothesis alluded to by Tullock, within the context of defensive rent‐seeking efforts developed by others (e.g…
The purpose of the present study is to test the hypothesis alluded to by Tullock, within the context of defensive rent‐seeking efforts developed by others (e.g. McChesney). Here, we test the idea that defensive rent seeking efforts (or rent‐defending) to maintain the status quo augment offensive rent‐seeking (all proxied by real campaign contributions to US House/Senate candidates, 1976‐1992) during federal budgetary climates of deficit‐cutting (budget‐balancing). When a panel estimator is properly used, our econometric evidence confirms our hypothesis. Evidence from a Parks regression technique suggests that total rent‐seeking is positively related to the amount of federal spending, as others have shown, but that rent‐seeking efforts increase when federal budget deficits are reduced, threatening existing spending patterns and rents. Perhaps an unintended consequence of deficit‐reduction efforts, holding government spending constant, is an increase in the size of the rent‐seeking industry.
Public choice theory describes politicians as expected utility maximizing agents who are primarily concerned with their own election prospects. In a fashion similar to…
Public choice theory describes politicians as expected utility maximizing agents who are primarily concerned with their own election prospects. In a fashion similar to Anderson and Tollison, who showed that US President Abraham Lincoln manipulated the military vote in the US Presidential election of 1864, this note presents historical accounts of Winston Churchill’s efforts (desire) to suppress the overall military vote in the British National Election of 1945. The anecdotal evidence and election simulations presented suggest that Churchill’s expected utility maximization suppression strategy was consistent with public choice tenets. As such, the public choice interpretation of British political history presented here adds further to political‐economic models of legislator/executive behavior.
Investigates empirically the importance of buyer characteristics aswell as product and service classifications on the informational contentof advertising supply by sellers…
Investigates empirically the importance of buyer characteristics as well as product and service classifications on the informational content of advertising supply by sellers utilizing Yellow Pages advertisements from six US cities. The analysis and tests extend the categories used in previous tests by including so‐called “credence goods” by analysing the impact of alternative buyer characteristics as proxies for time and information costs. The intra‐city and, to a lesser extent, inter‐city comparisons lend support to the contemporary theory of advertising as information.