I just got word that the Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan has passed away. The intellectual world has lost a lion and an owl.
Here is a brief bio.
Buchanan’s works laying out the foundations of Public Choice Theory (the Virginia School of Political Economy) are obviously seminal. However, my favorite Buchanan pieces include the oft-cited (here on Pileus) “Afraid to be Free” (that Marc only mentioned just this morning in the comments to his post on drugs), “Classical Liberalism and the Perfectability of Man,” and “Federalism as an Ideal Political Order and an Objective for Constitutional Reform.”
2 thoughts on “James Buchanan, R.I.P.”
One of the highlights of my intellectual life was spending a weekend at a conference with Buchanan and a few others and having the pleasure of interacting quite frequently with him.
I really appreciated the opportunities I had to spend time with him via Liberty Fund events. I believe it was at a colloquium on Smith and the Theory of Moral Sentiments that he passed out page proofs for “Afraid to be Free.” You must envy a man who lived a long productive life, raised important questions that demanded a response, and died in his home. I recall the advice he gave to several of us as when he gave us a tour of his office: take time for a siesta. RIP