Handbook of Public Economics
Martin Feldstein, A.J. Auerbach
Elsevier, Jan 25, 2002 - Business & Economics - 674 pages
The Field of Public Economics has been changing rapidly in recent years, and the sixteen chapters contained in this Handbook survey many of the new developments. As a field, Public Economics is defined by its objectives rather than its techniques and much of what is new is the application of modern methods of economic theory and econometrics to problems that have been addressed by economists for over two hundred years. More generally, the discussion of public finance issues also involves elements of political science, finance and philosophy. These connections are evidence in several of the chapters that follow.
Public Economics is the positive and normative study of government's effect on the economy. We attempt to explain why government behaves as it does, how its behavior influences the behavior of private firms and households, and what the welfare effects of such changes in behavior are. Following Musgrave (1959) one may imagine three purposes for government intervention in the economy: allocation, when market failure causes the private outcome to be Pareto inefficient, distribution, when the private market outcome leaves some individuals with unacceptably low shares in the fruits of the economy, and stabilization, when the private market outcome leaves some of the economy's resources underutilized. The recent trend in economic research has tended to emphasize the character of stabilization problems as problems of allocation in the labor market. The effects that government intervention can have on the allocation and distribution of an economy's resources are described in terms of efficiency and incidence effects. These are the primary measures used to evaluate the welfare effects of government policy.
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after-tax allocation analysis assets Auerbach behavior benefits bequest motives capital gains capital income capital-gains tax capital-income tax carbon tax changes choice constraint consumption consumption tax contract contributions corporate deadweight loss discussed distortionary distortions distribution dividend effect efficiency elasticity electoral emissions empirical enforcement environmental tax Equation equilibrium equity estimates evasion evidence example excess burden Feldstein finance firms function funds harm household impact implies incentives income tax increase individuals investment investors issues Journal of Economics Journal of Public liability literature lump-sum marginal cost marginal tax rate maximize numeraire optimal tax optimal taxation parties pension pollution tax portfolio Poterba preferences problem production Public Economics redistribution reduce returns revenue risk risk aversion rules saving Section Shavell Slemrod social strict liability studies Tabellini tax policy tax reform tax system taxable taxation taxpayers theory unemployment user cost utility voters welfare zero
Page v - ... SWEENEY This Handbook is in 3 volumes. The first two deal with environment and renewable resources. The third volume will deal primarily with non-renewable resources. Together, these three volumes cover the whole range of topics falling under the broad heading of Natural Resources Economics. They are a definitive source, reference, and teaching supplement for use by professional researchers and advanced graduate students.
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