Readings for Dr. Sobel's Sessions

ECON 400 - Senior Seminar in Economics - Spring 2012

Department of Economics & Finance, School of Business, College of Charleston



(1) Readings can be downloaded individually by clicking on the paper, or in compressed (zipped) files, one for each section (see link at beginning of each section).

(2) The two sections of this course are covering the readings in a slightly different order, so these may not be in the order of your class.  Scroll down to the relevant readings session you need.


Economic Philosophy Session 1:


Click here to download a zip file containing all readings from Economic Philosophy Session 1


1A. The Philosophy of Markets, Competition, & The Role of Government

Smith, Adam, The Wealth of Nations. Two excerpts:

Book 1, Chapter 2 on the Principle giving occasion to the Division of Labor (the frequently cited "butcher, brewer, and baker" quote is from this chapter)

Book 4 (IV), Chapter 2 on the restraints on the importation of goods (especially look at the 4th paragraph starting with "every individual is continually exerting himself . . " and the 9th paragraph where he introduces the concept and term "invisible hand")

Read, Leonard, "I, Pencil," Copyright from the Foundation for Economic Education.

Hayek, F.A., "The Results of Human Action but not of Human Design," Chapter 6 in Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.

Hayek, F.A., "The Use of Knowledge in Society," American Economic Review Vol. 35, no. 4 (September 1945), pp. 519-530.

Rand, Ayn, "Man=s Rights," The Virtue of Selfishness. New York: Signet Books, 1964, pp. 92-100.

Rand, Ayn, "The Nature of Government," The Virtue of Selfishness. New York: Signet Books, 1964, pp. 107-115.

"Not Yours to Give" excerpted from The Life and Times of Colonel David Crockett.


1B. Entrepreneurship

Schumpeter, Joseph A. "Creative Destruction," from Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (1942).

Hayek, F.A., "Competition as a Discovery Procedure," (translation by Marcellus Snow) Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Fall 2002), pp. 9‑23.

Kirzner, Israel M., "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, Vol 35, No. 1 (March 1997), pp. 60‑85.

Baumol, William J. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 98, No. 5 (October 1990), pp. 893 921.


1C. Property Rights, Institutions, and the Rule of Law

Perritt, Henry H., "Property, Markets, and Capitalism in the Third World," excerpt and review of de Soto, Hernando, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else (2000).

Measures of National & State Business Climates:

State Rankings of Entrepreneurial Activity

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2009 Rankings

Gwartney and Lawson, Economic Freedom of the World, Chapter 1

Doing Business 2007 Excerpt

Karabegovic and McMahon, Economic Freedom of North America, Excerpt

Two Tables on Various State Business Climate Rankings


Economic Philosophy Session 2:


Note: The final entry in this section is an entire book (15MB file).  I've created two zip files, one with it and one without it.  Click here to download a zip file containing all readings from Economic Philosophy Session 2 INCLUDING the book, or click here to download a zip file containing all readings from Economic Philosophy Session 2 EXCLUDING the book.


2A. Governments, Public Choice, Interest Groups, and Constitutions

Buchanan, James M., "Public Finance and Public Choice," Chapter 10 in What Should Economists Do? Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1979.

Holcombe, Randall G., "The Distinction Between Clubs and Governments," Chapter 5 in The Economic Foundations of Government. New York: New York University Press, 1994.

Tullock, Gordon, "The Welfare Cost of Tariffs, Monopolies, and Theft," Western Economic Journal 5, no. 3 (June 1967), pp. 224-232.

Sobel, Russell S. "Welfare Economics and Public Finance," Chapter 2 in Handbook of Public Finance, Edited by Jurgen G. Backhaus and Richard E. Wagner, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004, pp. 19‑51.

Weingast, Barry R., Kenneth A. Shepsle, and Christopher Johnsen, "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy 89, no. 4 (1981), pp. 642-664.

Poterba, James M., "Public Finance and Public Choice," National Tax Journal 51, no. 2 (June 1998), pp. 391-396.

Laffer, Arthur B., "The Laffer Curve: Past, Present, and Future," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1765 (June 1, 2004).

Buchanan, James M., "The Domain of Constitutional Economics," Constitutional Political Economy 1, no. 1 (Winter 1990), pp. 1-18.

Holcombe, Randall G., "The Distributive Model of Government: Evidence from the Confederate Constitution," Southern Economic Journal 58, no. 3 (January 1992), pp. 762-769.


2B. Bioeconomics, Trust, Extent of the Market, and South Carolina Economic Policy

Magee, Stephen P., "Bioeconomics and the Survivor Model: The Economic Lessons of Evolutionary Biology," Public Choice 77, (1993), pp. 117-132.

Crowley, George R. and Russell S. Sobel, "Adam Smith: Managerial Insights from the Father of Economics," Journal of Management History 16, No. 4 (2010), pp. 504-508

Calcagno, Peter T. (ed.), Unleashing Capitalism: A Prescription for Economic Prosperity in South Carolina. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Policy Council, 2009.


Econometrics Sessions:


**it is very important you bring these to class printed out so you can make notes on them**


Click here to download a single PDF file containing all three econometrics sections or click below to download each section individually in separate files


Click here to download a PDF file of Econometrics Section 1 only

Click here to download a PDF file of Econometrics Section 2 only

Click here to download a PDF file of Econometrics Section 3 only


Empirical Papers Session:


Click here to download a zip file containing all readings from Empirical Papers Session


Sobel, Russell S., J.R. Clark, and Dwight R. Lee, "Freedom, Barriers to Entry, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Progress." Review of Austrian Economics 20 (2007), pp. 221-236

Sobel, Russell S. and Andrea M. Dean. "Has Wal‑Mart Buried Mom and Pop?: The Impact of Wal‑Mart on Self Employment and Small Establishments in the United States." Economic Inquiry 46, No. 4 (October 2008), pp. 676-695.

Sobel, Russell S. "Testing Baumol: Institutional Quality and the Productivity of Entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing 23, No. 6 (November 2008), pp. 641 655.

Ziobrowski, Alan J., Ping Cheng, James W. Boyd, and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski, "Abnormal Returns from the Common Stock Investments of the U.S. Senate," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 39, No. 4 (Dec. 2004), pp. 661-676.

Garrett, Thomas A. and Russell S. Sobel, "The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments," Economic Inquiry 41, No. 3 (July 2003): 496‑509.

Young, M., Reksulak, M. and Shughart II, W., "The Political Economy of the IRS," Economics and Politics 13 (2001), pp. 201‑220.

Leeson, Peter T., and Russell S. Sobel, "Weathering Corruption," Journal of Law and Economics 51, No. 4 (November 2008): 667‑681

Kubik, Jeffrey D. and John R. Moran, "Lethal Elections: Gubernatorial Politics and The Timing Of Executions," Journal of Law & Economics 46, No. 1 (April 2003), pp. 1‑26.

Hess, Gregory D. and Athanasios Orphanides, "War Politics: An Economic, Rational‑Voter Framework," American Economic Review 85, no. 4 (September 1995): 828‑846.

Husted, Thomas A. and Lawrence W. Kenny, "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy 105, no. 1 (February 1997), pp. 54-82.

Feenberg, Daniel R., William Gentry, David Gilroy, and Harvey S. Rosen, "Testing the Rationality of State Revenue Forecasts," Review of Economics and Statistics 71, No. 2 (May 1989), pp. 300-308.

Thurman, Walter N. and Mark E. Fisher, "Chickens, Eggs, and Causality, or Which Came First?" American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 70, No. 2 (May, 1988), pp. 237-238.