Paretian Fiscal Sociology

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This work is a draft chapter for the forthcoming book “James Buchanan: A Theorist of Political Economy and Social Philosophy”, which is being edited by Ricard E Wagner for Palgrave Macmillan. It considers Pareto’s treatment of fiscal issues, first as a middle age economist and subsequently as a mature age sociologist. It establishes that Pareto never regarded fiscal studies as a purely theoretical exercise. Even as an economist, he relegated ‘fiscal effects’ to the aspect of applied economics that he called the ‘concrete economic phenomenon’. Pareto’s fiscal sociology takes his observations from applied economics and subjects them to further analysis using his division between logical and non-logical action, with fiscal effects falling within the category of non-logical action. This chapter reviews those enhancements and subjects Paretian fiscal sociology to critical assessment. While the Paretian episode in fiscal sociology has now long passed, the study concludes by noting a number of its attributes that have continuing relevance.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUWA Business School
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEconomics Discussion Papers


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