Crisis and Leviathan

by Robert Higgs
This seminal treatise in the history of ideas demonstrates what has come to be known as the Higgs thesis: that government grows in periods of crisis, for example, war and depression. He demonstrates this with a detailed look at twentieth century economic history. Higgs's thesis is so compelling that it has become the dominant paradigm for understanding the so-called ratchet effect: government grows during crisis and then retrenches afterwards, but not to the same level as before.
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