I just received word that Nobel laureate James M. Buchanan has passed away.
I was just talking to David Levy at the ASSA meetings in San Diego about him, and hoped to meet him this summer. The loss to the profession cannot be overestimated, and my thoughts go out to his family, friends, colleagues, and students around the world.
I am sure obituaries and remembrances will proliferate over the next several days, written by people who knew the man and his work far better than I did. But his seminal work in public choice, constitutional political economy, and professional economic ethics will remain influential on me as long as I continue to write. As I sat at my desk to write this post, his books What Should Economists Do? and Moral Science and Moral Order sit in my current reading pile, and his article "The Domain of Constitutional Economics" (from the inaugural issue of Constitutional Political Economy) recently opened my eyes to a new approach to my work.
The man has left us but his scholarship lives on.