Open Access Review SciPap-1129
An Economic Analysis of Public Choice: Theoretical Methodological Interconnections
by Jolana Volejníková 1,* iD icon and Ondřej Kuba 2,* iD icon

1 Ústav ekonomických věd, Univerzita Pardubice, ÚEV, Studentská 95, Pardubice 532 10, Czechia

2 Ústav ekonomických věd, Univerzita Pardubice, ÚEV, Studentská 95, Pardubice 532010, Czechia

* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: Public choice theory is an established part of general economic theory. It emerged as an offshoot of the mainstream in the 1940s and deals with applying economic methods to political analysis and decision making within political institutions. Today, the public choice approach is being used successfully in a wide spectrum of social sciences, as well as in politics at the macro- and international levels. At the theoretical level, we feel that public choice theory is of wide importance relating to the change in definition of its traditional place in economic theory. Approximately, this change began to occur during the 1980s, and it documents an interpretative shift from public choice theory being a relatively independent economic discipline to a discipline that is presented as an immanent part of the new political economy, a newly created school of opinion. This paper’s goal is to analyze and discuss the paradigmatic, historically conditioned theoretical-methodological concept of public choice by using research into the literature. Concurrently, our ambition is also to define key points of overlap that link public choice theory to the economic mainstream (neoclassical economics) on one hand and the new political economy on the other. We have developed the conclusions of this analysis and intellectual comparison into a wider discussion of public choice theory’s significance and its role in the formative process of economic theory’s development and future trajectory.

Keywords: Economic Theory, Public Choice Theory, Economic Mainstream, Methodology, New Political Economy

JEL classification:  A1 - General Economics

SciPap 2020, 28(3), 1129;

Received: 10 August 2020 / Revised: 11 October 2020 / Accepted: 13 October 2020 / Published: 3 November 2020