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Coercion and Social Welfare in Public Finance
Economic and Political Perspectives

Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, Stanley L. Winer, John J. Wallis, Stergios Skaperdas, Roger D. Congleton, Michael C. Munger, John O. Ledyard, George Tridimas, Walter Hettich, Saloua Sehili, Giorgio Brosio, Lucy F. Ackert, Ann B. Gillette, Mark Rider, Elena Cettolin, Arno Riedl
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  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107636897

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About the Authors
  • Although coercion is a fundamental and unavoidable part of our social lives, economists have not offered an integrated analysis of its role in the public economy. The essays in this book focus on coercion arising from the operation of the fiscal system, a major part of the public sector. Collective choices on fiscal matters emerge from and have all the essential characteristics of social interaction, including the necessity to force unwanted actions on some citizens. This was recognized in an older tradition in public finance which can still serve as a starting point for modern work. The contributors to the volume recognize this tradition, but add to it by using contemporary frameworks to study a set of related issues concerning fiscal coercion and economic welfare. These issues range from the compatibility of an open access society with the original Wicksellian vision to the productivity of coercion in experimental games.

    • Unlike other books or papers that deal with coercion, in this book coercion in public finance is addressed directly and at length
    • The book is written in the tradition of Wicksell, in which public finance is regarded as the study of how people act collectively to achieve their ends
    • Critical formal discussions of the chapters are provided by leading scholars at various points
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Taking seriously the role of coercion in public finance represents a significant advance in economic thinking about taxation, welfare, and collective decision making. With this finely crafted edited volume jam-packed with distinguished contributors, Martinez-Vazquez and Winer set a new agenda for the debate on the relationship between compulsion and effective government.' Margaret Levi, Director, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

    'The essays in Coercion and Social Welfare in Public Finance explore analytical territory of great significance for scholarship in public finance and political economy. Written with wonderful imagination and creativity, these essays sketch numerous fertile directions for future research into the Faustian bargain that coercion necessarily creates.' Richard E. Wagner, George Mason University

    'After carefully and knowledgeably defining the problem to be analyzed, namely the minimization of coercion in public finance decisions (and indeed in public affairs generally) as first conceptualized by Wicksell, Professors Martinez-Vazquez and Winer subdivided that broad topic into meaningful components that they then assigned to some of the very best scholars in this field of inquiry. The papers were discussed by equally competent specialists. To round things up, Martinez-Vazquez and Winer have produced a masterful synthesis of the papers and of the discussions, pointing, as they proceed, to matters that need further research. This is a 'must-read' book on an important subject.' Albert Breton, University of Toronto

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107636897
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 29 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Coercion, welfare, and the study of public finance Jorge Martinez-Vazquez and Stanley L. Winer
    Part I. Violence, Structured Anarchy, and the State:
    2. The constitution of coercion: Wicksell, violence, and the ordering of society John J. Wallis
    3. Proprietary public finance: on its emergence and evolution out of anarchy Stergios Skaperdas
    Part II. Voluntary and Coercive Transactions in Welfare Analysis:
    4. Coercion, taxation, and voluntary association Roger D. Congleton
    5. Kaldor-Hicks coercion, Coasian bargaining, and the state Michael C. Munger
    Part III. Coercion in Public Sector Economics: Theory and Application:
    6. Non-coercion, efficiency and incentive compatibility in public goods John O. Ledyard
    7. Social welfare and coercion in public finance Stanley L. Winer, George Tridimas and Walter Hettich
    8. Lindahl fiscal incidence and the measurement of coercion Saloua Sehili and Jorge Martinez-Vazquez
    9. Fiscal coercion in federal systems, with special attention to highly divided societies Giorgio Brosio
    Part IV. Coercion in the Laboratory:
    10. Cooperating to resist coercion: an experimental study Lucy F. Ackert, Ann B. Gillette and Mark Rider
    11. Partial coercion, conditional cooperation, and self-commitment in voluntary contributions to public goods Elena Cettolin and Arno Riedl.

  • Editors

    Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, Georgia State University
    Jorge Martinez-Vazquez is Regents Professor of Economics and director of the international studies program in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He has published more than twenty books and numerous articles in academic journals, such as Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Public Economics, the Southern Economic Journal, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. He has directed multiple fiscal reform projects, having worked in more than seventy countries, including China, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa. He is the current coeditor of Hacienda Pública Española/Review of Public Economics. Professor Martinez-Vazquez holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

    Stanley L. Winer, Carleton University, Ottawa
    Stanley L. Winer is the Canada Research Chair Professor in Public Policy in the school of public policy and administration and the department of economics at Carleton University in Ottawa. He is the author, with Walter Hettich, of Democratic Choice and Taxation: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 1999). His recent book with Kathleen Day, Interregional Migration and Public Policy in Canada (2013), was awarded the Purvis Prize from the Canadian Economics Association. He has also published widely in leading academic journals on the political economy of fiscal systems and other topics. Professor Winer is the chair of the editorial board of the Carleton Library Series. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from The Johns Hopkins University.

    Contributors

    Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, Stanley L. Winer, John J. Wallis, Stergios Skaperdas, Roger D. Congleton, Michael C. Munger, John O. Ledyard, George Tridimas, Walter Hettich, Saloua Sehili, Giorgio Brosio, Lucy F. Ackert, Ann B. Gillette, Mark Rider, Elena Cettolin, Arno Riedl

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