How to Pronounce Tiebout and More
By Garett Jones
From William Fischel’s brief biography of the Connecticut-born economist. Fischel spoke with Charles Tiebout’s family and friends, so this statement deserves weight:
If I could offer but one contribution to his memory, let it be to induce economists to pronounce his name correctly: It is “TEE-bow,” the unstressed syllable sounding like the bow of cellos and arrows.
Just like the football player.
Tiebout argued that local governments might be relatively efficient because citizens could vote with their feet, they could use exit instead of voice in Hirschman’s expression. Tiebout’s paper raised the status of local government, then at a low:
The first edition of Samuelson’s introductory [economics] text treats local government in an altogether condescending way…The fragmentation of local government was almost uniformly decried by academics and other commentators in the 1950s.
The essay also discusses the Buchanan/Goetz contribution to the TEE-bow debate–they argued, in Fischel’s words, that “the poor would endlessly chase the rich around the metropolitan area in a Tiebout model.” Bruce Hamilton’s response was that zoning would stop that.
And then there’s this, about Tiebout’s (TEE-bowz) father, Harry:
Harry was a psychiatrist and was famous as the first of his profession to endorse the methods of Alcoholics Anonymous. (“Bill W.,” the co-founder of AA, was one of his patients.)
Categories: Public Choice Theory