Monday, January 25, 2021

Business-Government Relations Reading List

I'm teaching business-government relations this semester. Here's the reading and topic list if you're interested.




M Jan 25


Trading Games (Special Interest and Government Variation)


Howard Richter, “Do Business and Politics Mix”?

Pietra Rivoli and S. Waddock, “First They Ignore You…”


M Jan 27

Ethics ≠ Law; Beware Corporate Counsel


John Hasnas. "Managing the Risks of Legal Compliance: Conflicting Demands of Law and Ethics."


M Feb 1

Basic Models of Voter Behavior

Lilliana Mason, “Ideologues without Issues: the Polarizing Consequences of Ideological Identities” 

Dan Kahan, “Motivated Innumeracy”


Optional: Stimson, MacKuen, and Erikson, “Opinion and Public Policy:  A Global View”


W Feb 3

Voter Ignorance and Voter Irrationality

Bryan Caplan, “Rational Irrationality and the Microfoundations of Political Failure”

Ilya Somin, “Voter Ignorance and the Democratic Ideal”


Scott Althaus, “Information Effects in Collective Preferences”

M Feb 8

Does Money Buy Elections? 

To Whom Do Politicians Listen?

Stephen Ansolabehere, John M. De Figueiredo, and James M. Snyder Jr. "Why Is There So Little Money in US Politics?”

Yasmin Dawood, “Campaign Finance and American Democracy”

Martin Gilens, “Inequality and Democratic Representativeness”


W Feb 10

Why There Is No Will of the People


Are We Smart in Groups?

Michael Morreau, “Arrow’s Theorem,” (SEP)

Brennan and Landemore, Debating Democracy, excerpts


M Feb 15




W Feb 17

The Behavioral Symmetry Assumption and Analytic Politics


Market and Government Success; Market and Government Failure


Michael Munger, “30 Years After the Nobel: James Buchanan’s Political Philosophy”

Harold Demsetz, “Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint”


William Keech, Michael Munger, and Carl Simon, “Market Failure and Government Failure”

M Feb 22

Mixed Economies Around the World

Gwartney, Lawson, Hall, and Murphy, “Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report,” (read intro and skim rest)


W Feb 24

Institutional Analysis: Property




Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson, “Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth”


M Mar 1

Why Isn’t Every Country the Same?

Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson, “The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation”

Douglas North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast, Violence and Social Orders, chapter one. 


W Mar 3

Why Do Firms Exist?

Ronald Coase, “The Nature of the Firm”


David Hart, “The Political Theory of the Firm”


M Mar 8

Predicting Bureaucratic Behavior

William Niskanen, “Bureaucrats and Politicians”



W Mar 10

Predicting Bureaucratic Behavior

Michael Thomas, “Reapplying Behavioral Symmetry: Public Choice and Choice Architecture”


F. A. Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society”


M Mar 15

Stationary Bandits

Mancur Olson, “Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development”



W Mar 17

Rent Seeking

Kevin Murphy, Andrei Shleifer, and Robert Vishny, “Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?”

Stephen Weymouth, “Firm Lobbying and Influence in Developing Countries: A Multilevel Approach”


M Mar 22


Barry Hirsch, “What Do Unions Do for Economic Performance?”

W Mar 24

Political Corruption

Vito Tanzi, “Corruption Around the World”

Axel Deher, Christos Kotsogiannis, and Steve McCorriston, “Corruption around the World: Evidence from a Structural Model”



M Mar 29 + W Mar 31



M Apr 5

Generalized Social Trust

Peter Thirsted Dinesen and Rene Bekkers, “The Foundations of Generalized Social Trust”


W Apr 7

The Welfare and Social Insurance State

Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser, and Bruce Sacerdote, “Why Doesn’t the US Have a European-Style Welfare System?”


M Apr 14

What Makes Leaders Democratize?

John Freeman and Dennis Quinn, “The Economic Origins of Democracy Reconsidered”


W Apr 16

Regulation Theories

Howard Beales, et al, “Government Regulation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,”

Paul Romer, “Process, Responsibility, and Myron’s Law”


Susan Rose-Ackeman, “Regulation and the Law of Torts”


M Apr 21

Over and Under Regulation

Tammy Tengs et al, “Five-Hundred Life-Saving Interventions and Their Cost Effectiveness”

Eric Posner and Glen Weyl, “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Financial Regulations: A Response to Criticisms”


W Apr 23

Crisis and Leviathan

Robert Higgs, “Government Growth”


W Apr 28

Political Competition

Timothy Besley, Torsten Persson, and Daniel Sturm, “Political Competition and Economic Performance: Theory and Evidence from the United States”


Michael Clemens, “Economics and Immigration: Trillion Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?”

Glen Weyl, “The Openness-Equality Trade-Off in Global Redistribution”


W Apr 30

Supergovernments and Political Unions


Worldwide Collective Action Problems

Alberto Allesina, Ignazio Angeloni, and Federico Etro, “The Political Economy of International Unions”


Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons”

Garrett Hardin, “Living on a Lifeboat”