Jun 29, 2014

Public Finance and Public Choice

I have not read the book, which is a collection of papers by James Buchanan and Richard Musgrave (The MIT Press 1999). The position one takes on public finance issues depends a lot on two main foci of attention: (1) rules vs outcomes, and (2) the nature of the sate:

From a review of the book by Stephen Slivinski

. . . the important point that readers will take away from the exchange within the pages of this book is that there is a fundamental difference in the public finance literature about what legitimizes government and how best to construct one that transcends the abuses of majoritarian impulses. The view of government as benevolent redistributor, which Musgrave seems to favor, is as old as the European finance models that he is steeped in. And Buchanan’s cogent and pow- erful criticism of that school is worthy of the Nobel Prize received for it.

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