WITTMAN, Donald Alan (Biography)


April 11, 1942 Current Position

Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1980-.

Past Positions

Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1976-1980; Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago, 1974-1976; Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1969-1974.


B.A., University of Michigan, 1964; M.A., Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1966, 1970.

Editorial Duties

Economics of Governance, 1997-.

Principal Fields of Interest

Politics, Law, Microeconomic Theory.

Selected Publications


1. The Federalist Papers: The New lnstitutionalism and the Old, (Agathon Press, 1989) (edited, with B. Grofman).

2. The Myth of Democratic Failure: Why Political Institutions are Efficient (University of Chicago Press, 1995). "American Political Science Association: Best Book or Article in Political Economy-1994, 1995 or 1996." Translated into Portuguese by Alvaro de Sa and Renata Eugenia Alves de Lima O Mito do Fracasso da Democracia (Bertrand Brasil, 1999) (Japanese version (Forthcoming).

3. Economic Analysis of Law: Selected Readings (ed.).


1. "Candidates with policy preferences: a dynamic model." Journal of Economic Theory, 1977.

2. "How a war ends." Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1979.

3. "Efficient rules of thumb in highway safety and sporting activity." American Economic Review, 1982.

4. "Candidate motivation: a synthesis." American Political Science Review, 1983.

5. "Multicandidate equilibria." Public Choice, 1985.

6. "Arms control and other games involving imperfect detection." American Political Science Review, 1989.

7. "Pressure group size and the politics of income redistribution." Social Choice and Welfare, 1989.

8. "Why democracies are efficient." Journal of Political Economy, 1989.

9. "Why voters vote for incumbents but against incumbency: a rational choice explanation." Journal of Public Economics, 1995 (with D. Friedman).

10. "The size and wealth of nations." Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2000.

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