Liberty Review

Liberty Review summaries are selected by Liberty Fund Fellows on the basis both of their own research interests and of their relevance for Liberty Fund’s mission: to contribute to the preservation and development of individual liberty through research and educational activities.

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Recent Posts

Here are the 10 latest posts from Liberty Review.

Liberty Review September 23, 2017

Individualistic values, institutional trust, and interventionist attitudes

HANS PITLIK and MARTIN RODE JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS, Volume 13, Issue 3 Abstract: A popular explanation for economic development is that ‘individualistic values’ provide a mind-set that is favorable to the creation of growth-promoting institutions. The present paper investigates the relationship between individualistic values and personal attitudes toward government intervention. We consider two key components […]

Liberty Review September 19, 2017

Economic Development, Mobility, and Political Discontent: An Experimental Test of Tocqueville’s Thesis in Pakistan

ANDREW HEALY, KATRINA KOSEC and CECILIA HYUNJUNG MO AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW, Volume 111, Issue 3 Abstract: We consider the thesis of Alexis de Tocqueville (1856) that economic development and increased mobility may generate political discontent not present in more stagnant economies. For many citizens, as they become aware of the potential for improved living standards, their aspirations may […]

Liberty Review September 14, 2017

Max Scheler and Adam Smith on Sympathy

ADRIANA ALFARO ALTAMIRANO THE REVIEW OF POLITICS, Volume 79, Issue 3 ABSTRACT: Recent efforts to theorize the role of emotions in political life have stressed the importance of sympathy, and have often recurred to Adam Smith to articulate their claims. In the early twentieth-century, Max Scheler disputed the salutary character of sympathy, dismissing it as an […]

Liberty Review August 19, 2017

Democracy and Unfreedom: Revisiting Tocqueville and Beaumont in America

SARA M. BENSON SAGE JOURNALS, Volume 45, Issue 4 Abstract: This essay reexamines the famous 1831 prison tours of Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont. It reads the three texts that emerged from their collective research practice as a trilogy, one conventionally read in different disciplinary homes (Democracy in America in political science, On the Penitentiary in criminology, […]

Liberty Review August 16, 2017

Adam Smith on Justice, Social Justice, and Ultimate Justice

JAMES R. OTTESON SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY AND POLICY, Volume 34, Issue 1 Abstract: Adam Smith argues that virtue falls into two broad categories: “justice,” which he calls a “negative” virtue because it principally comprises restraint from harming or injuring others; and “beneficence,” which he calls “positive” because it comprises the actions we ought to take to improve […]

Liberty Review August 13, 2017

Economic freedom and human capital investment

HORST FELDMANN JOURNAL OF INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS, Volume 13, Issue 2 Abstract: Using data from 1972 to 2011 on 109 countries, this paper empirically studies the impact of economic freedom on human capital investment. Enrollment in secondary education is used as a proxy for such investments. Controlling for a large number of other determinants of education, it […]

Liberty Review August 10, 2017

The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence From the Kuba Kingdom

SARA LOWES, NATHAN NUNN, JAMES A. ROBINSON, JONATHAN L. WEIGEL ECONOMETRICA, Volume 85, Issue 4 Abstract: We use variation in historical state centralization to examine the long-term impact of institutions on cultural norms. The Kuba Kingdom, established in Central Africa in the early 17th century by King Shyaam, had more developed state institutions than the other […]

Liberty Review August 7, 2017

Sentiments, Conduct, and Trust in the Laboratory

VERNON L. SMITH and BART J. WILSON SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY AND POLICY Abstract: In this essay we provide a brief account and interpretation of The Theory of Moral Sentiments showing that it departs fundamentally from contemporary patterns of thought in economics that are believed to govern individual behavior in small groups, and contains strong testable propositions governing the expression […]

Liberty Review August 4, 2017

A liberal theory of externalities?

CARL DAVID MILDENBERGER PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES Abstract: Unlike exploitative exchanges, exchanges featuring externalities have never seemed to pose particular problems to liberal theories of justice. State interference with exchanges featuring externalities seems permissible, like it is for coercive or deceptive exchanges. This is because exchanges featuring negative externalities seem to be clear cases of the two exchanging […]

Liberty Review August 1, 2017

How Not to Argue for Markets (or, Why the Argument from Mutually Beneficial Exchange Fails)

JAMES STACEY TAYLOR JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY, Volume 48, Issue 2 Abstract: In recent years, there has been considerable debate concerning the legitimate scope of market transactions. Markets in many goods that are usually held to be market-inalienable (including sex, human organs, sweatshop labor, women’s reproductive labor, humans, and votes) have all had their defenders—and detractors. […]