Choice, Contract, and Constitutions

By James M. Buchanan
Foreword by Robert D. Tollison


Constitutional political economy is the theme of the papers collected in this volume. This entire area of contemporary economic thought is a legacy of James M. Buchanan.

In outlining the importance of this volume to the contemporary study of economics and to the work of James M. Buchanan, Robert D. Tollison states in his foreword, “Buchanan literally founded the field of constitutional political economy. . . . [His] insistence on the importance of rules was an important innovation in economics, and, over the past thirty years or so, the analytical and empirical relevance of Buchanan’s constitutional perspective has become apparent.”

The thirty-five papers represented in this volume are grouped into these major subject categories:

  1. Foundational Issues
  2. The Method of Constitutional Economics
  3. Incentives and Constitutional Choice
  4. Constitutional Order
  5. Market Order
  6. Distributional Issues
  7. Fiscal and Monetary Constitutions
  8. Reform

For Buchanan, his work in constitutional political economy is just the first step. He is concerned with inducing economists and other scholars to take the constitutional problem seriously. As they do, says Robert D. Tollison, “the face of modern economics will be changed.”

James M. Buchanan (1919–2013) was an eminent economist who won the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986 and was considered one of the greatest scholars of liberty in the twentieth century.


Feb 2001 | 6 x 9 | 487 Pages

Volume 16

Foreword, name index, subject index.


978-0-86597-243-8 Hardcover
978-0-86597-244-5 Paperback