Economic theory dating
It is little wonder that we find great confusion, especially among economists, about cost.
So much for a summary of this book’s main argument.
It shows a recession from the quarter following the peak through the quarter of the trough (i.e.
the peak is not included in the recession shading, but the trough is).
Similar views in theories of cost have been developed and expressed since the 1930s at the London School of Economics by scholars such as Lionel Robbins, F. However, though acknowledging and supporting the Austrian contribution in the socialist calculation debate with arguments based on his own concept of cost, Buchanan distances himself somewhat from the Austrians.
This relative neglect of the theoretical underpinnings of Buchanan’s economic worldview as presented in Cost and Choice is somewhat strange.
The source spreadsheet of this chronology is available here.
Note: CEPR Recession shading for quarters follows the trough method used by FRED to compute NBER Recession Inndicators for the United States (see here).
You must now decide whether to read this Preface, to read something else, to think silent thoughts, or perhaps to write a bit for yourself.
The value that you place on the most attractive of these several alternatives is the cost that you must pay if you choose to read this Preface now.
After all, specific applications of his general views to problems of public economics were much better received and, in fact, enormously influential.