Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan dies at 93; helped develop public choice theory

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Nobel Prize-winning economist James M. Buchanan, who helped develop the public choice theory of economics, has died. He was 93.

Family members said in a news release from Middle Tennessee State University, where Buchanan graduated in 1940, that he died Wednesday morning in Blacksburg, Va., where he lived.

He earned the 1986 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his writings in the field of public choice, which uses the tools of economics to analyze the behavior of voters, candidates, legislators, bureaucrats and others.

Buchanan, who was a Tennessee native and grandson of Tennessee Gov. John P. Buchanan, grew up in rural Middle Tennessee. He spent most of his academic career in Virginia, where he established the Center for Study of Public Choice, based at George Mason University.