The Lighthouse Debate and the Dynamics of Interventionism

  title={The Lighthouse Debate and the Dynamics of Interventionism},
  author={Rosolino A. Candela and Vincent J. Geloso},
  journal={The Review of Austrian Economics},
Coase’s publication of “The Lighthouse in Economics” (1974) sparked a polarizing debate over his claim that government intervention is not necessary for the existence of a private lighthouse market. The purpose of this paper is to reframe this debate by asking the following question: why was nationalization the outcome of lighthouse regulation? We answer this question by utilizing the Austrian theory of interventionism to illustrate how regulation of the lighthouse market distorted the… 
The Political Economy of Lighthouses in Antebellum America
Lighthouses are the quintessential public goods and thus constitute a key illustration of market failure in need of government remedy. Considerable debates have been waged over whether optimal
Market Theory and the Lighthouse System
In this chapter, we point out that Kirzner’s focus on the market process and entrepreneurial alertness to profit opportunities that come from improving allocative efficiency (or pushing back the
An Austrian Re-assement of the Theory of ‘Public Goods’: What Is Left (and Right)?
This chapter is motivated by the following questions: what are the implications of an Austrian reassessment of the theory of public goods? What would be left to say that’s right about public goods?
Dynamics of Interventionism and Economic Development in Quebec before 1854
The theory of interventionism argues that government interventions are inherently destabilizing which helps explain the growth of government. I argue that the theory of interventionism is also useful
Coase and transaction costs reconsidered: the case of the English lighthouse system
What is Coase's understanding of transaction costs in economic theory and history? Our argument in this paper is twofold, one theoretical and the other empirical. First, Coase regarded positive
Organizations and efficiency in public services: The case of English lighthouses revisited
Foundational debates about public service provision originate with the study of English lighthouses. This paper uses new data to analyze how organizations impacted lighthouse efficiency in England
Why Consider the Lighthouse a Public Good?
Was the lighthouse ever a public good? The lighthouse is presented as the quintessential public good as it was inherently non-excludable and non-rivalrous. Since the work of Ronald Coase (1974) on
The Positive Political Economy of Analytical Anarchism
Analytical anarchism is a subset of political economy that takes neither rules as given nor assumes that monopoly enforcement of such rules exists. This approach is the positive study of endogenous
The Art and Science of Economic Explanation: Introduction to the Special Issue in Honor of Yoram Barzel
Abstract This introduction to the special issue in honor of Professor Yoram Barzel provides an overview of his scholarship and a summary of the contributions to this special issue. Each contribution
Calculation and Corporate Tax Incentives
Amazon’s HQ2 campaign drew both large support at the possibility of job creation and backlash for perceived cronyism. In this paper we evaluate corporate tax incentive policies in light of the


The Coasean Analysis of Lighthouse Financing: Myths and Realities
In 'The Lighthouse in Economics' (Coase, R. H. Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 17, no. 2, 357-76, 1974), Coase reached the conclusion that in England there existed a relatively efficient privately
The political economy of Coase's lighthouse in history (Part I): A review of the theories and models of the provision of a public good
As a contribution to policy planning for public goods provision, Part I of this multi-disciplinary article critically reviews the literature and facts for and against the 1974 paper by Ronald Coase
The provision of lighthouses services: a political economy perspective
Ronald Coase’s 1974 article on lighthouses and the Trinity House case, in particular, has triggered extensive debate on the notion of a public good, but also on the possibility of private production
Saving government failure theory from itself: recasting political economy from an Austrian perspective
The economic approach to politics revolutionized the way scholars in economics and political science approached the study of political decision-making by introducing the possibility of government
The Political Economy of Coase's Lighthouse in History (Part II): Lighthouse Development along the Coast of China
As a sequel to a critical discussion of the debate on the question of public goods in connection with Coase's historical analysis of the lighthouses in Britain (published in TPR 79.4), this case
Buoys and Beacons in Economics
The debate over lighthouses has become a central feature of economic theory. It addresses the question of different assignments of property rights and what kind of institutional setting may be able
Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism
1. The Challenge of the Mixed Economy 2. The Meaning of Interventionism 3. The Use of Knowledge in Government and Catallaxy 4. Toward a Theory of Interventionism I: The Framework 5. Toward a Theory
The Development of the Misesian Theory of Interventionism
The aim of this chapter is to describe the evolution of the Misesian theory of interventionism from its first articulations by Ludwig von Mises to its modern reformulation by Murray N. Rothbard. The
Austrian Economics and Public Choice
In this introduction, we will first discuss the methodological affinities between the market process and public choice approaches to political economy, and then suggest that because of these
The Lessons of the Lighthouse: "Government" or "Private" Provision of Goods
OVER the last few decades, the debate over whether goods and services should be provided by the government or by private enterprise has been altered by a series of historical studies.' These studies