Public choice is one of the few examples of a “creative community” emerging from within the professional academic structures of economics in the postwar period. This article examines the early development of the public choice movement at the University of Virginia and how this movement both expanded and was solidified following the movement of a critical mass of public choice scholars to Virginia Tech. Drawing on the literature on creative communities, various archival materials from the period, and the scholarly literature on the history of the public choice movement, I attempt to show that while the seeds of this movement were sown at the University of Virginia, it was Virginia Tech that provided an environment in which a creative community could be established and flourish, and that this was a crucial factor in the evolution of the field of public choice.

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