Growth of Government

Conference for Students – February 9-11, 2018

Discussion Leader: TBD

Session I – Why the Growth of Government?

Higgs, Robert. Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Part I, Chapter 1, “The Sources of Big Government: A Critical Survey of Hypotheses” (pages 3–19).

Seldon, Arthur. The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon, Volume V: Government Failure and Over-Government. Edited by Colin Robinson. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2005. Chapter 2, “The Debilitating Disease of Over-Government” (pages 101–115).

Session II – Ideology and Government Growth

Hayek, F. A. The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek: Socialism and War: Essays, Documents, Reviews. Edited by Bruce Caldwell. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1997. Chapter 11, “The Intellectuals and Socialism” (pages 221–237).

Caplan, Bryan. “Libertarianism Against Economism: How Economists Misunderstand Voters and Why Libertarians Should Care.”Independent Review (Spring 2001): 539–563. Entire article.

Session III – The Role of Economic Crises

Higgs, Robert. Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Chapter 8, “The Great Depression: ‘An Emergency More Serious Than War’” (pages 159–195).

Session IV – Technology and Redistributive Politics

Cowen, Tyler. “Does Technology Drive The Growth of Government?.” Mont Pelerin Society Meeting, Sweden, June 22, 2009. Entire paper.
Jasay, Anthony de. The State. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998. Selections from Chapter 4, “Redistribution”: “Churning” (pages 254–263) and “Towards a Theory of the State” (pages 263–273).

Session V – Is There a Case for Big Government?

Kenworthy, Lane. Social Democratic America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Chapter 3, “How Can We Fix It?” (pages 49–72) and selections from Chapter 4, “Objections and Alternatives” (pages 73–111).

Session VI – Limiting the Growth of Government

Krol, Robert. “The Role of Fiscal and Political Institutions in Limiting the Size of State Government.” Cato Journal 27, no. 3 (Fall 2007): 431–445. Entire article.

Buchanan, James M. and Geoffrey Brennan. The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan, Volume 10, The Reasons of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2000. Chapter 9, “Is Constitutional Revolution Possible in Democracy?” (pages 149–167).