National decline is typically blamed on special interests from the demand side of politics corrupting a country's institutions. The usual demand-side suspects include crony capitalists, consumer activists, economic elites, and labor unions. Less attention is given to government insiders on the supply side of politics - rulers, elected officials, bureaucrats, and public employees. In autocracies and democracies, government insiders have the motive, means, and opportunity to co-opt political power for their benefit and at the expense of national well-being. Many storied empires have succumbed to such inside jobs. Today, they imperil countries as different as China and the United States. Democracy - government by the people - does not ensure government for the people. Understanding how government insiders use their power to subvert the public interest - and how these negative consequences can be mitigated - is the topic of this book by Mark A. Zupan.Read more
- Focuses on a new topic: the potential for special interests from the supply side of the political market - insiders - in contrast to most work in this area, which overwhelmingly focuses on the demand side of politics - outsiders
- The first book of its kind to show that democracy, on average, improves public sector integrity, while at the same time offering recommendations for improving the functioning of government for the public good
- Provides examples from the broad course of history, ranging across both autocracies and democracies, unlike the existing economic model of politics which typically focuses on democracies
Reviews & endorsements
'In the tradition of Parkinson's Law, this fascinating and novel contribution to political theory examines in horrifying but eloquent detail just how vulnerable government is, not just to demand-side capture by special interests, but to supply-side take-over by insiders operating for their own benefit and at the expense of the public good.' Vicount Matthew Ridley, Journalist, Member of the House of Lords and author of The Evolution of EverythingSee more reviews
'Mark A. Zupan brings an economist's perspective and wit along with sharp scholar's eyes to political economy issues of great contemporary import. I found answers in this book to many of my long-held and vexing questions about the functioning of our government. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to understand why and how Washington and, for that matter, all levels of government, do and do not work.' Ira Solomon, Dean, A. B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University, New Orleans
'In a world of public sector unions, Clinton Foundations, Berlusconis and the like, Mark A. Zupan illustrates how government insiders have reduced economic freedom and contributed greatly to the secular stagnation in developed countries. Economists, policymakers, the media and voters would do well to take Inside Job seriously before it is too late to reverse.' Steven N. Kaplan, University of Chicago
'With remarkable clarity and wisdom Mark A. Zupan explains to us how government rent-seeking works in practice today. This book is a treasure of breath-taking information and fundamental insights into the workings of modern as well as historic governments.' Hans-Werner Sinn, President Emeritus of Ifo Institute, University of Munich and author of The Euro Trap
'In this deeply insightful investigation of public sector integrity, Mark A. Zupan not only chronicles the corrosive effect that government corruption has upon the national well-being, but also explores the manner by which the ruling elite seek to retain power by monopolizing the supply side of policymaking. This ground-breaking work should serve as a wake-up call for those entrusted with governing responsibility. Mark A. Zupan's Inside Job is required reading for all who seek to seriously explore the issue of public sector integrity - as well as those who wish to better understand the potential consequences when a ruling elite fails to administer 'government for the people.' Michael P. Ryan, Chief Investment Strategist, Wealth Management Americas, Union Bank of Switzerland
'In this insightful and illuminating book, Mark A. Zupan lays bare the sources of corruption that have brought down governments through the ages and which now threaten the success of the American experiment in limited government. Inside Job is that rare book that tells us not only what is happening but why it is happening. This book is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the inside forces that are impeding progress and prosperity while profiting from our national malaise.' James Piereson, President of the William E. Simon Foundation and Director of the Center for the American University
'The negative influence that special interests have on public policy is well-recognized. In Inside Job, Mark A. Zupan uses the tools of economic analysis to show why the influence of government insiders - elected officials and government bureaucrats - often is even more pernicious. Zupan's rigorous analysis, supported by many examples and case studies, makes this book a significant contribution to the academic literature that describes the way government actually works.' Randall G. Holcombe, Florida State University, former president of the Public Choice Society and author of Producing Prosperity
''What do government insiders stand to gain?' in his compelling and important work, Inside Job answers this question with precision and persuasion.' Tyler Cowen, George Mason University, Virginia and writer for the New York Times, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Newsweek
'Mark A. Zupan's magnificent book Inside Job guides the reader through the labyrinth of motives, means, and opportunities of the supply side of political markets comprised of statesmen, bureaucrats, and public employees. As such, this book on political economy does not just build on public choice theory, but also thoughtfully applies the theory to the practical issues - among them the United States presidential election of 2016. Finally, the book also comprehensively lays out ways of improving government transparency that could enable citizens to monitor their public officials more effectively.' Tanja Porčnik, President of the Visio Institute, and co-author of 'The Human Freedom Index'
'As reformers across the globe seek to 'drain the political swamps' and restore government to the people, Inside Job reminds us that government responsiveness is threatened not only by the interest groups that swarm the centers of power but also by the personal agendas of government officials themselves. Zupan's fascinating study combines a sweeping historical analysis spanning centuries, examination of modern data on government integrity, and economic theory to show how capture of government by insiders undermines popular control and can threaten the viability of the state.' John Matsusaka, Charles F. Sexton Chair in American Enterprise, University of Southern California
'How corrupt is government? And how much does democracy help? Inside Job tours readers through the basic facts of global corruption, and shows that democracy is no panacea for this age-old problem.' Bryan D. Caplan, George Mason University, Virginia and author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
'Mark A. Zupan's Inside Job shifts today's typical study of the demand-side of politics towards analysis of how and why rulers, elected officials, and bureaucrats subvert public interest. The supply-side analysis of Zupan's book links the motive, power and incentives of 'insiders' with the consequences of their behavior on the national well-being. Inside Job should be read by all graduate students in social sciences.' Steve Pejovich, Professor Emeritus, Texas A & M University
'Zupan provides a compelling and systematic explanation of how the general interest of the people is frustrated by the service of public officials to special interests. He further illustrates that these so-called 'inside jobs' threaten economic growth, domestic tranquility, and other key aspects of the common good. This book is an important resource for students of politics and helps explain some of the rise of modern populism throughout contemporary western democracies.' Thomas W. Gilligan, Stanford University
'Mark A. Zupan raises a series of questions that could not be more topical. Why are politicians growing richer, while decrying others' wealth? Why do political performances increasingly dismay their constituents? Why do American institutions increasingly fail, eliciting more voter disdain? Zupan's insight is that all these questions really have one answer: the phenomenal growth of government, attended by increasing voter disgust with politicians.' Fred McChesney, University of Miami, School of Law
'Zupan succeeds brilliantly in producing a self-contained book that lays out a coherent framework to address the critical issues related to the role of government insiders in the success or demise of political systems. This is an impressive book which tackles a number of important substantive topics about the relative desirability of alternative political institutions.' Antonio Merlo, George E. Peterkin Chair of Economics and Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Rice University, Texas
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- Date Published: June 2017
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781316607770
- length: 262 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 153 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.38kg
- contains: 1 b/w illus. 2 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Government for the people?
2. Why worry about government insiders and their profits?
3. How do government insiders profit at the public's expense?
4. What do government insiders stand to gain?
5. What factors curb hijacking by government insiders?
6. Why are government insiders so hard to control?
7. Where and when has the state been co-opted from within?
8. Government insiders: a day of reckoning for China?
9. Government insiders: a day of reckoning for the US?
10. How can we form a more perfect union?
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