In this volume, Sir Alan Peacock, one of Britain's most noted public economists, poses the question as to whether the history of economic thought is an essential part of the training of public finance economists. He argues that the perspective gained by studying the origins of public choice analysis can offer an important stimulus to scientific progress. The first lecture analyses the increasing popularity in recent years of the modernist, anti-historical point of view. The second criticises those theories of growth in government expenditure which ignore the political process. The third lecture draws on Adam Smith and David Hume to extend the conventional economic model of bureaucracy. In the final lecture, Peacock considers the problem of controlling public sector growth and points to ways of overcoming them. The book ends with short commentaries by seven public economists.
• The author is one of Britain's top economists • Controversial, poses the question as to whether the history of economic thought is an essential part of the training of public finance economists • Part of the prestigious Raffaele Mattioli Lectures series
Preface; 1. The demand for historical perspective; 2. Public choice and the analysis of public sector growth; 3. The economic consequences of public sector growth; 4. The calculus of consent and limits on government expenditure growth; Commentaries.
'This splendid book … should be a prized possession for all serious scholars of public choice and should find its way onto the shelves of all major libraries. It represents a virtuoso performance by a major scholar, full of original insights and rich in relevant ideas and citations from the past … exceptionally well written.' Professor Charles Rowley, Public Choice